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



    BrE BrE//maɪl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//maɪl//
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  1. 1   [countable] a unit for measuring distance equal to 1 609 metres or 1 760 yards a 20-mile drive to work an area of four square miles a mile-long procession The nearest bank is about half a mile down the road. We did about 30 miles a day on our cycling trip. The car must have been doing at least 100 miles an hour. (British English) My car does 35 miles to the gallon. (North American English) My car gets 35 miles to the gallon. see also Air Miles™, mph, nautical mile
  2. 2  miles [plural] a large area or a long distance miles and miles of desert There isn't a house for miles around here. I'm not walking—it's miles away.
  3. 3[countable, usually plural] (informal) very much; far I'm feeling miles better today, thanks. I'm miles behind with my work. She's taller than you by a mile.
  4. 4the mile [singular] a race over one mile He ran the mile in less than four minutes. a four-minute mile
  5. Word OriginOld English mīl, based on Latin mil(l)ia, plural of mille ‘thousand’ (the original Roman unit of distance was mille passus ‘a thousand paces’).Extra examples Fell-runners who are out to win can cover the three miles in just over 15 minutes. Good runners can cover the three miles in just over 15 minutes. His thoughts were racing a mile a minute. She was talking a mile a minute. The country’s Red Sea coast stretches some 500 miles. The police stopped them doing 100 miles per hour on the motorway. a willingness to go the extra mile to make a project workIdioms (informal) to be thinking deeply about something and not aware of what is happening around you
    give somebody an inch (and they’ll take a mile/yard)
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    (saying) used to say that if you allow some people a small amount of freedom or power they will see you as weak and try to take a lot more
    go the extra mile (for somebody/something)
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    to make a special effort to achieve something, help somebody, etc.
    (informal) in a place that is a long way from a town and surrounded only by a lot of open country, sea, etc. We broke down miles from anywhere.
    a miss is as good as a mile
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    (saying) there is no real difference between only just failing in something and failing in it badly because the result is still the same
    run a mile (from somebody/something)
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    (informal) to show that you are very frightened of doing something See related entries: Fear
    see, spot, tell, smell, etc. something a mile off
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    (informal) to see or realize something very easily and quickly He's wearing a wig—you can see it a mile off. After twenty years in the police she could smell a liar a mile off.
    to be very obvious or noticeable It stood out a mile that she was lying.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: mile