General English


  • noun a way of calculating size or quantity



  • verb to find out the size or quantity of something or to be of a certain size or quantity


  • noun the total width of a printed line of text

Information & Library Science

  • noun a set of scales or strip for measuring
  • noun an action taken to bring about a specific result
  • verb to discover the size or quantity of something by using a calibrated instrument


  • noun an action to achieve something, e.g. a law passed by parliament or a statutory instrument

Media Studies

  • noun the width of the type area on a page or in a column


  • noun a unit of size, quantity or degree


  • noun an action taken to deal with a problem, e.g. a law passed by parliament


  • noun a serving of alcohol or wine when served by the glass

Origin & History of “measure”

The distant ancestor of English measure was the Indo-European base *ma-, *me- ‘measure’. this has generated a wide range of often unexpected English progeny, including meal ‘repast’, month, and moon. Measure itself comes from an extension of the base, *mat-, *met-, from which was derived the Latin verb mētīrī ‘measure’. Its past participial stem mēns-formed the basis of the noun mēnsūra ‘measure’, which passed into English via Old French mesure as measure. From the same Latin stem come commensurate (17th c.), dimension (14th c.), and immense (15th c.) (literally ‘unmeasurable’); and other related forms that go back to the base *mat-, *met- (or *med-) include mate ‘friend’, meat, meditate, meet ‘suitable’, mete, mode, moderate, modest, and modify.