gauge also gage (gāj)
1. A standard dimension, quantity, or capacity, as:
a. The distance between the two rails of a railroad.
b. The distance between two wheels on an axle.
c. The interior diameter of a shotgun barrel as determined by the number of lead balls of a size exactly fitting the barrel that are required to make one pound. Often used in combination: a 12-gauge shotgun.
d. The thickness or diameter of sheet metal, wire, or a similar manufactured material or piece.
e. The fineness of knitted cloth as measured by the number of stitches per a given unit of length.
2. A standard or scale of measurement: The capacity of barrels was measured according to the gauge in use at the time.
3. An instrument for measuring the dimensions, capacity, or amount of something: a pressure gauge; a fuel gauge.
4. A means of estimating or evaluating; a test: a gauge of character.
5. Nautical The position of a vessel in relation to another vessel and the wind.
tr.v. gauged, gaug·ing, gaug·esalso gaged , gag·ing , gag·es
1. To measure the dimensions, capacity, proportions, or amount of (something), especially by means of a gauge: gauged the thickness of the metal part.
2. To evaluate or estimate: gauge a person's interest.
3. To adapt or make conform to a specified standard: pressure valves that are gauged to industry requirements.
4. To chip or rub (bricks or stones) to size.
5. To stretch (a pierced earlobe or other body part) by inserting progressively larger objects over a long period of time.
1. Of or relating to a gauge.
2. Physics Invariant under a local transformation.
[Middle English, from Old North French, gauging rod, of Germanic origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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