Definition of gauge noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    (also US English gage) noun
    BrE BrE//ɡeɪdʒ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡeɪdʒ//
    Railway tracks and stations
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  1. 1(often in compounds) an instrument for measuring the amount or level of something a fuel/petrol/temperature, etc. gauge
  2. 2a measurement of the width or thickness of something What gauge of wire do we need?
  3. 3(also bore especially in British English) a measurement of the width of the barrel of a gun a 12-gauge shotgun
  4. 4the distance between the rails of a railway/railroad track or the wheels of a train standard gauge (= 56½ inches in Britain) a narrow gauge (= narrower than standard) railway See related entries: Railway tracks and stations
  5. 5[usually singular] gauge (of something) a fact or an event that can be used to estimate or judge something Tomorrow's game against Arsenal will be a good gauge of their promotion chances.
  6. Word OriginMiddle English (denoting a standard measure): from Old French gauge (noun), gauger (verb), variant of Old Northern French jauge (noun), jauger (verb), of unknown origin.Extra examples The depth gauge tells you how deep you have dived. The fuel gauge was reading ‘empty’. The petrol gauge was reading ‘full’. The pilot checked the fuel gauge frequently. This company is seen as a gauge of Britain’s industrial well-being. At that time railways of three different gauges were in use. In the USA anything that’s good is worth a lot of money. That’s your gauge. Standard gauge trains in Britain have wheels 56½ inches apart. The team’s game tomorrow will be a good gauge of their promotion chances. They’ve built a narrow gauge railway that runs all around the estate.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: gauge