—n. 1. a unit or standard of measurement: weights and measures. 2. a system of measurement: liquid measure. 3. an instrument, as a graduated rod or a container of standard capacity, for measuring.
4. the extent, dimensions, quantity, etc., of something, ascertained esp. by comparison with a standard: to take the measure of a thing. 5. the act or process of ascertaining the extent, dimensions, or quantity of something; measurement.
6. a definite or known quantity measured out: to drink a measure of wine. 7. any standard of comparison, estimation, or judgment.
8. a quantity, degree, or proportion: in large measure. 9. a moderate amount: to live with a measure of enjoyment. 10. a limit, or an extent or degree not to be exceeded: to know no measure. 11. reasonable bounds or limits: to know no measure. 12. a legislative bill or enactment: The senate passed the new measure. 13. Usually, measures. actions or procedures intended as a means to an end: to take measures to avert suspicion. 14. a short rhythmical movement or arrangement, as in poetry or music.
15. a particular kind of such arrangement.
16. the music contained between two bar lines; bar.
17. a metrical unit.
18. an air or melody.
19. a slow, dignified dance.
20. Print. the width, measured in ems or picas, to which a column or page of printed matter is set.
21. measures,Geol. beds; strata.
22. Math. an abstraction of the property of length; a set function assigning to each set of a collection of sets a value, usu. having the properties of sigma finiteness and fnite additivity, the functional value of the whole collection being greater than zero.
23. beyond measure, too much to be reckoned; immeasurably; extremely: The suffering that they endured was beyond measure. 24. for good measure, as an extra: In addition to dessert, they served chocolates for good measure. 25. have or take someone's measure, to judge or assess someone's character, capabilities, etc.; size up: During their conversation she was taking his measure as a prospective employee. 26. in a or some measure, to some extent or degree: His conclusion is justified in some measure.
—v.t. 1. to ascertain the extent, dimensions, quantity, capacity, etc., of, esp. by comparison with a standard: to measure boundaries. 2. to mark off or deal out by way of measurement (often fol. by off or out): to measure out two cups of flour. 3. to estimate the relative amount, value, etc., of, by comparison with some standard: to measure the importance of an issue. 4. to judge or appraise by comparison with something or someone else: to measure Corneille against Racine. 5. to serve as the measure of: Her sacrifices measure the degree of her love. 6. to adjust or proportion: to measure a portion to one's liking. 7. to bring into comparison or competition: to measure one's strength with another's. 8. to travel over; traverse: to measure a room with great strides.
—v.i. 1. to take measurements.
2. to admit of measurement.
3. to be of a specified measure.
4. measure one's length, to fall or be knocked down; fall flat: He missed a step in the dark and measured his length at the bottom. 5. measure swords, a. to test one's preparedness for a contest or encounter.
b. to battle with swords.
c. to fight, compete, etc.: The producer of the poorly reviewed show decided to measure swords with the critics. 6. measure up, a. to reach a certain standard: The exhibition didn't measure up to last year's. b. to be capable or qualified: As an administrator, he couldn't quite measure up.