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



    BrE BrE//ˈmeʒə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmeʒər//
    Reading music
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    official action
  1. 1  [countable] an official action that is done in order to achieve a particular aim safety/security/austerity measures a temporary/an emergency measure measure (to do something) We must take preventive measures to reduce crime in the area. The government is introducing tougher measures to combat crime. measures against racism Police in riot gear were in attendance as a precautionary measure. Synonymsactionmeasure step act moveThese are all words for a thing that somebody does.action a thing that somebody does:Her quick action saved the child’s life.measure an official action that is done in order to achieve a particular aim:Tougher measures against racism are needed.step one of a series of things that you do in order to achieve something:This was a first step towards a united Europe.act a thing that somebody does:an act of kindnessaction or act?These two words have the same meaning but are used in different patterns. An act is usually followed by of and/​or used with an adjective. Action is not usually used with of but is often used with his, her, etc:a heroic act of bravery a heroic action of bravery his heroic actions/​acts during the war. Action often combines with take but act does not:We shall take whatever acts are necessary.move (used especially in journalism) an action that you do or need to do to achieve something:They are waiting for the results of the opinion polls before deciding their next move.Patterns to take action/​measures/​steps to make a step/​move a heroic/​brave/​daring action/​step/​act/​move see also half measures
  2. unit of size/quantity
  3. 2  [countable, uncountable] a unit used for stating the size, quantity or degree of something; a system or a scale of these units weights and measures The Richter Scale is a measure of ground motion. liquid/dry measure Which measure of weight do pharmacists use?
  4. 3[countable] (especially of alcohol) a standard quantity a generous measure of whisky
  5. amount
  6. 4[singular] a particular amount of something, especially a fairly large amount synonym degree A measure of technical knowledge is desirable in this job. She achieved some measure of success with her first book.
  7. instrument for measuring
  8. 5 [countable] an instrument such as a stick, a long tape or a container that is marked with standard units and is used for measuring see also tape measure
  9. way of showing/judging
  10. 6[singular] a sign of the size or the strength of something Sending flowers is a measure of how much you care.
  11. 7[countable] a way of judging or measuring something an accurate measure of ability Is this test a good measure of reading comprehension?
  12. suggested new law
  13. 8[countable] (North American English) a written suggestion, especially one for a new law made by the lawmakers of a state a motion to refer the measure to another committee a ballot measure (= a change in the law that voters decide on)
  14. in music
  15. 9 (usually British English bar) [countable] one of the short sections of equal length that a piece of music is divided into, and the notes that are in it See related entries: Reading music
  16. Word OriginMiddle English (as a noun in the senses ‘moderation’, ‘instrument for measuring’, ‘unit of capacity’): from Old French mesure, from Latin mensura, from mens- ‘measured’, from the verb metiri.Extra examples A reliable measure of progress is whether your children can do something they couldn’t do before. Accepting the lower salary was seen as an important measure of commitment. Companies can use their stock price as a performance measure. Development of new water sources needs to be combined with conservation measures. GDP is considered the broadest measure of a country’s economic activity. He placed his fingers on the keys and played a few measures. He poured me a generous measure of gin. He’s been praised and condemned in equal measure. Higher scores on this standardized measure indicate greater creativity. His success was due in large measure to your help. Landed income was the true measure of the gentry. New security measures were implemented to prevent further violence. Special measures are being taken to protect the local water supplies. The Committee unanimously approved the measure. The authorities are using increasingly repressive measures. The band began playing the opening measures. The mayor threatened to veto a measure passed by the city council. The price of housing relative to income is an important measure of real income. They tried to formulate a quantitative measure of well-being. This figure alone is not a fair measure of our success. This figure provides an objective measure of risk. This measure is obtained by dividing corporate profits by corporate bond yields. We had to resort to extraordinary measures to find employees. We urge you to adopt all necessary measures to guarantee people’s safety. a huge room measuring 50 m by 18 m a package of measures aimed at cutting pollution a steady rhythm of four beats to a measure an accurate measure of length measures for reducing delays the first few measures of Mozart’s third violin concerto tougher measures against racism Exam results are only one measure of a school’s success. Her hand trembled slightly, a measure of her anxiety. Money is not the only measure of success. Police in riot gear were in attendance as a precautionary measure. The government introduced emergency measures to stave off an economic crisis. This is just a temporary measure, while the emergency exists. We still have no objective measure of pain in babies.Idioms (formal) very much He irritated me beyond measure. as an extra amount of something in addition to what has already been done or given Use 50g of rice per person and an extra spoonful for good measure. ‘I’m no good at puzzles. I can’t even do crosswords,’ she added for good measure. the whole of something or less of something than you expect or should have We experienced the full measure of their hospitality. The concert only lasted an hour, so we felt we were getting short measure.
    get/take/have the measure of somebody, get/have/take somebody’s measure
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    (formal) to form an opinion about somebody’s character or abilities so that you can deal with them After only one game, the chess champion had the measure of his young opponent.
    (formal) to the greatest possible degree My expectations had been met in full measure.
    in large part, in large measure
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    (formal) to a great extent Their success is due in large part to their determination.
    in no small measure, in some, equal, etc. measure
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    (formal) to a large extent or degree; to some, etc. extent or degree The introduction of a new tax accounted in no small measure for the downfall of the government. Our thanks are due in equal measure to every member of the team.
    (British English) made especially for one person according to particular measurements synonym bespoke You'll need to get a suit made to measure. I’m having the curtains made to measure. a made-to-measure suit See related entries: The fashion world
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: measure