Definition of length in English:

length

Pronunciation /leNG(k)TH/ /lɛŋ(k)θ/ /lenth/ /lɛnth/

See synonyms for length

Translate length into Spanish

noun

  • 1The measurement or extent of something from end to end; the greater of two or the greatest of three dimensions of a body.

    ‘it can reach over two feet in length’
    • ‘the length of the airport terminal’
    • ‘Being around three to four inches in length they are also just the right size for tench fishing.’
    • ‘Although seldom more than three inches in length, the hair may be cut to a quarter of an inch at the nape of the neck.’
    • ‘The very biggest may have reached 40 metres in length and weighed close to 100 metric tons.’
    • ‘Typical blocks were fabricated to measurements of three feet in length and 1.5 feet in width and height.’
    • ‘The newborn measure eight inches in length and they are known to grow up to 20 feet in the wild, say the Croc Bank authorities.’
    • ‘Basking sharks can reach 10m in length and weigh in at anything from 2 to 7 tonnes.’
    • ‘The fish measured two metres in length and the fins would have been between 700 and 800 millimetres long.’
    • ‘Adult sperm whales average 15m in length, but can reach a maximum of 20m and a weight of 70 tonnes.’
    • ‘It measures 8.3 inches in length, 5.5 inches in height and weighs in at 2 pounds.’
    • ‘One of the bone instruments was a needle about four inches in length, beautifully tapered, and still in a prefect state of preservation.’
    • ‘The enormous fish, which measured nearly 2m in length, strangely offered little resistance and was hauled up to the boat.’
    • ‘And today it has grown so large that it measures 10.5 feet in length.’
    • ‘Roots range from eight inches up to 24 inches in length.’
    • ‘It was barely two inches in length and quite thin.’
    • ‘Liam rolled up his denim jacket sleeve and revealed a scar about eight inches in length, crooked and jagged and raised and a deep mauve color.’
    • ‘Women make bark cloth that can reach fifty feet in length and fifteen feet in width.’
    • ‘In small streams, brown trout may grow to no more than twelve inches in length and weigh less than a pound.’
    • ‘The lake measures 35 miles in length, up to 15 miles in width and has about 115 miles of shoreline.’
    • ‘One of the windows measured about ten feet in length while the other four were of a smaller size and located in the porch area.’
    • ‘The squid weighs 20 kilograms and measures 1.5 metres in length.’
    extent, extent lengthwise, distance, distance lengthwise, linear measure, span, reach
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    1. 1.1The quality of being long.
      • ‘the length of the waiting list’
      period, duration, stretch, term, span
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2The length of a swimming pool as a measure of the distance swum.
      ‘fifty lengths of the pool’
      • ‘Splitting her time between homes in Knightsbridge and Gloucestershire, she swims her daily 30 lengths in a swimming pool fitted with underwater speakers.’
      • ‘Keith Green, of Robin Close, Warminster is to swim 65 lengths of the Kingdown swimming pool in Warminster for MacMillan Cancer Relief.’
      • ‘Two years ago, Kevin O'Donnell could barely swim 12 lengths of his local swimming pool and would drag himself totally exhausted from the water.’
      • ‘After a tough few lengths in the swimming pool, it's always refreshing to know you can head for a sauna so hot it leaves you gasping.’
      • ‘I decided to attempt to swim two lengths of the pool underwater on a single breath, a feat that I have accomplished a couple of times before.’
      • ‘He still was not good but certainly competent enough to swim two lengths of this oversized pool without stopping.’
      • ‘Applicants should have completed the equivalent of advanced lessons and be able to tread water and swim two lengths of the pool.’
      • ‘She is swimming lengths in the club pool and walking as much as she can rather than grabbing lifts.’
      • ‘She swam an impressive 20 lengths of the pool in 19 minutes and five seconds and presented Lydia with the money and a cute teddy bear, which Lydia christened Benjamin.’
      • ‘Jemma, ten, and her cousin Danielle, 11, swam 50 lengths of the pool at Devizes Leisure Centre on Sunday.’
      • ‘Michelle Atherton raised more than £500 for an epilepsy charity by swimming 150 lengths of a Bolton health club pool.’
      • ‘Only last week a 76-year-old woman raised £280 for the pool fund by swimming 100 lengths.’
      • ‘To finish off I went down to pool to swim my usual 30 lengths.’
      • ‘The team, all from Bradon Forest School, completed the 5,000-metre challenge in two hours 31 minutes, swimming 40 lengths each.’
      • ‘He is capable of swimming a length and surface diving, and loves the water.’
      • ‘Swimming several lengths gives you a good, safe workout.’
      • ‘He continued to swim 40 lengths to the day he died.’
      • ‘In preparation for the challenge, she has been swimming 500 lengths a day at her local gym.’
      • ‘She also used to swim 30 lengths a day, competing with everyone who came in the pool.’
      • ‘Rather unusually for me I fancied a swim instead of the gym this morning so did some leisurely lengths before eight then sat in the bubbly spa feeling springy.’
    3. 1.3The length of a horse, boat, etc., as a measure of the lead in a race.
      ‘the mare won the race last year by seven lengths’
      • ‘The bay colt won a maiden race by seven lengths at Del Mar on August 17 in his second career start.’
      • ‘They led the whole race finishing a boat length ahead of the Irish.’
      • ‘As they moved through the middle of the race the Evers-Swindells had extended their lead to a boat length over Germany.’
      • ‘In his second career start and first try on the turf, Cartoonist rallied from last place to win the one-mile maiden special weight race by two lengths.’
      • ‘He has not raced since finishing six lengths behind winner Clodovil in the French Two Thousand Guineas on May 11.’
      • ‘He rebounded to win a Belmont Park allowance race by eight lengths on July 7.’
      • ‘The Go for Gin colt won an allowance race by eight lengths at Belmont Park on June 7 in his last start.’
      • ‘Asi Siempre raced less than two lengths behind leader Elle Runaway entering the stretch.’
      • ‘She took the lead inside the final furlong and finished two lengths clear of Godolphin Racing's Quecha.’
      • ‘At the final turn he led by eight lengths and held on comfortably for a very popular win.’
      • ‘Innox was seventh last year, almost 39 lengths behind the winner.’
      • ‘His latest success was achieved by 11 lengths at Doncaster last month when he justified favouritism in impressive style.’
      • ‘Making most of the running, Simmies Charm finished with three lengths to spare over Tinas Dilemma in 30.78.’
      • ‘He won his maiden at the Curragh last season by 15 lengths and was almost as impressive on his reappearance at Tipperary in July.’
      • ‘Magna Graduate kept close to the leaders on the inside and moved to within one length of pacesetter Tani Maru through six furlongs.’
      • ‘Kris Kin won the Epsom Derby by one length for trainer Sir Michael Stoute and owner Saeed Suhail.’
      • ‘Bachelor Duke scored by one length over Azamour in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas on May 22 at the Curragh.’
      • ‘Guided Tour was the runner-up, one length behind the winner and a neck ahead of Golden Missile.’
      • ‘Briolette hung on for second, one length in front of stakes winner Asawer.’
      • ‘Stakes winner Questionable Past finished one length ahead of Turn to Lass, who finished third.’
    4. 1.4The extent of a garment in a vertical direction when worn.
      ‘the length of her skirt’
      • ‘Lines, whether they are stripes in the print, seams or zippers, can add width or length to the garment.’
      • ‘It's really a matter of choosing the skirt shape and length which best suits your figure and shows off your assets.’
      • ‘Her outfit consisted of a simple skirt of average length, a long-sleeved shirt, and casual makeup.’
      • ‘Follow the directions, especially length and frequency of use.’
      • ‘The school uniform is not acceptable because the white shirt reveals too much of the arms and the skirt length is not long enough; it should be down to the ankles.’
      • ‘Finally, remember that trouser length can vary from one style of pants to another.’
      • ‘If it's just a normal cuff, decide what length you want the pants, then add about 1.5 inches.’
      • ‘On the first day she had had her skirt to the regulation length.’
      • ‘During seasons where miniskirts was all the rage, she countered by showing designs with hems at a more wearable length.’
      • ‘The length and the more structured cut makes it easy to pair with the rest of your wardrobe.’
      • ‘It hovered just above the knee, the perfect length for the customers he's looking to serve.’
    5. 1.5The full distance that a thing extends for.
      ‘the muscles running the length of my spine’
      • ‘Walking down to the legal precinct this morning the full two-block length of Hyde Park was beautiful.’
      • ‘She was dressed in a long peachy pink dress that hugged her bust tightly, and was long and loose for the rest of the garment's length.’
    6. 1.6one's lengthThe full extent of one's body.
      • ‘he awkwardly lowered his length into the small car’
    7. 1.7Prosody Phonetics The metrical quantity or duration of a vowel or syllable.
      ‘the length of the syllable is isomorphic with the length of the syllabic vowel’
      • ‘As Navajo is a tone language, an error in tone or vowel length can be embarrassing to the listener.’
      • ‘In our research, stress is treated as a function of syllable length.’
  • 2The amount of time occupied by something.

    ‘delivery must be within a reasonable length of time’
    • ‘Child benefits will be tied to the length of service and amount of contributions paid until the baby is born.’
    • ‘The tilt of the earth not only gives us the changing day lengths, but the seasons as well.’
    • ‘Day length is a stable seasonal cue and controls biological changes in a host of species.’
    • ‘I agree with the member that the answer was too long, as several answers have been today, and I have asked members to please keep both questions and answers to reasonable lengths.’
    • ‘Much of Inuit life was adapted to the extremes of summer and winter night lengths.’
    • ‘Under this method different amounts of interest are charged for months of different lengths.’
    • ‘The amount depends on length of service and other variables.’
    • ‘Is the store's clientele extensive enough that a sale will happen within a reasonable length of time?’
    • ‘This would determine the number of insects, the lengths of winters, the directions of the winds and how long they blew.’
    • ‘Alternatively, one can investigate how the day length has changed not just over the past decade, but also over 200 or 300 decades.’
    • ‘The main cause is the tidal pull of the Moon, which has slowed the day length by about two hours over the past 400 million years.’
    • ‘The feeling of discouragement usually goes away within a reasonable length of time.’
    • ‘The long-term goal is to have a body of approximately 70 researchers with various degrees of affiliation to Perimeter working for terms of varying lengths.’
    • ‘But figuring out the lengths of days of yore isn't as easy as subtracting two milliseconds for every century.’
    • ‘The plans are aimed at evening out term lengths.’
    • ‘More patients will be treated as day cases and the lengths of time other patients stay in hospital will be reduced under the programme launched on Monday.’
    • ‘Season start times and lengths have also changed in certain regions and Sunday hunting is being offered in several new areas.’
    • ‘Interesting, though, is the fact that I find it harder and harder these days to spend long lengths of time in smoky clubs.’
    • ‘The answers range in length from about 2 to 4 minutes.’
    • ‘The videos range in length from two to 31 minutes and will be projected directly onto the building's glass façade.’
    period, duration, stretch, term, span
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  • 3A piece or stretch of something.

    ‘ a stout length of wood’
    • ‘Maria carefully rolled the piece, winding a length of sticky tape around the tube, stowing it in her bag.’
    • ‘Suddenly he was behind me, a length of white cord stretched tightly between his two hands.’
    • ‘‘You can still see pebbles in the stone,’ says Gerry, caressing the surface of a length of wall down by Kaleyard's Gate.’
    • ‘A length of outside stone wall has been dated back to pre-1066.’
    • ‘You can construct a model of this surface from a length of foam rubber with a square cross section.’
    • ‘It was tethered to a slightly larger box in his front pocket by a length of coiled wire, like between a telephone and it's handset.’
    • ‘A physical barrier can be as elaborate as a wood-framed cage of window screen, or as simple as a length of row cover.’
    • ‘It was replaced at half time by a length of plastic piping that is normally used as a goal post during Little League games.’
    • ‘This line was not bordered by any physical crash barrier, but by what looked like a length of cable stuck to the pavement in front of them.’
    • ‘Marcus bundled the man inside and secured the lid with a length of washing line taken from the outside balcony.’
    • ‘He is holding a length of curtain material in front of him while a young woman attempts to crawl between his legs.’
    • ‘The ferrets, as many as six at a time, are run along a length of pipe.’
    • ‘The group has been fundraising the estimated $8 million needed to run a length of track from London Farm to Garry Point Park.’
    • ‘The manager went off, and returned with a length of adhesive plastic, holding it out like a holy cloth to be draped over a bishop's neck.’
    • ‘We then wrapped her in a length of white muslin (white is the colour of initiation) and lifted her above our heads and rocked her.’
    • ‘Attacking them with a blunt object, such as a length of wood, could be also considered cruel, at least for the Rottweiler.’
    • ‘They weave cotton into strips of cloth, which are then sewn together, forming a length of fabric.’
    • ‘Instead he's trying to tie a length of rope onto his daughter Hillary's climbing harness.’
    • ‘So, armed with a length of twine, I set off to capture the dog.’
    • ‘From her right hand dangled a length of line, weighted by a piece of lead in the size and shape of a split pea.’
    piece, swatch, portion, section, measure, segment, roll
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  • 4An extreme to which a course of action is taken.

    ‘they go to great lengths to avoid the press’
    • ‘Since I decided to argue against this form of feminism in my first essay for the course, I had to go to great lengths to hide this book from my younger siblings throughout reading week.’
    • ‘Some of them deliberately cultivate an extremely casual look, and go to great lengths to sport outlandish hairstyles.’
    • ‘I told Sean I go to great lengths to look like his mom.’
    • ‘Even if they've been successful in the past, there's a constant fear of failure, and they go to great lengths to perfect everything they do.’
    • ‘Adults with literacy difficulties are very vulnerable and go to great lengths to keep their circumstances secret, often from their partners and children.’
    • ‘At a tax rate of $20 per carton, smokers will go to great lengths to find alternative, cheaper ways to get their cigarettes.’
    • ‘Infertility was a deeply distressing problem and childless couples would go to great lengths to raise money to fund treatment, he said.’
    • ‘We go to great lengths to make seemingly easy connections with an audience.’
    • ‘The filmmakers also go to great lengths to tell the kids not to be fashion slaves.’
    • ‘‘There must be a better way to provide services to the community without going to such lengths every three years,’ she said.’
    • ‘People forget the legacy of public service and the lengths that people will go to in living up to their responsibilities.’
    • ‘Let's face it, women have gone to great lengths over the centuries, to keep their beauty techniques under wraps.’
    • ‘Modern psychoanalytic practice goes to great lengths to quarantine the psychoanalytic conversation from the real world.’
    • ‘We have gone to extraordinary lengths to screen every single athlete on this team to make sure they're not in danger of inadvertent doping.’
    • ‘Hospital staff are sometimes advised to go to extraordinary lengths to avoid taking responsibility for deaths or accidents.’
    • ‘Milgram's shocking experiment years ago demonstrated the lengths people go to to satisfy authority.’
    • ‘But why do you go to such lengths to criticize them across the board?’
    • ‘But the episode starkly illustrated the lengths to which many universities were prepared to go to maintain student numbers and thereby their funding.’
    • ‘And while we all enjoy having a good time at Christmas, environmentalists say we're going to excessive lengths these days - and we're all in danger of paying the price.’
    do absolutely anything, go to any extreme, go to any limits, observe no limits
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  • 5(in bridge or whist) the number of cards of a suit held in one's hand, especially when five or more.

    ‘For this purpose, a longer trump suit is better than a shorter, and a trump holding in clubs is better than one of the same length in an unstated suit, even if the first player had in fact a club holding.’
    • ‘A sequence can be beaten either by a higher sequence of the same length in the same suit or by any sequence of the same length in a higher suit.’
    • ‘In choosing between suits of the same length, do not choose a suit with very high cards in it, as these may well win tricks even if they are not trumps.’
    • ‘Ones of longer lengths win, with high cards breaking ties and loose high cards breaking further ties.’

Phrases

    at length
    • 1In detail; fully.

      ‘these aspects have been discussed at length’
      • ‘A spokesman for the council said the details of the plans have been discussed at length.’
      • ‘Every staffer and volunteer was asked to discuss at length, and in great detail, all the aspects of their job.’
      • ‘He spoke at length and in detail to the engineers following his hard-fought seventh place at Sepang.’
      • ‘Explain in detail and at length what you expect both you and your potential ally to accomplish.’
      • ‘Almost every work by Poulenc is at least mentioned, and some are discussed at length.’
      • ‘This and other similar questions are discussed at length in these essays.’
      • ‘His office had been right next to mine, and we had discussed everything at length.’
      • ‘One frail elderly man ranted on at length about a catalogue of mistakes on his account, some of which went back to 1939.’
      • ‘One elderly lady spoke at length about her granddaughter who lived nearby.’
      • ‘He would talk at length about his theories on winning behaviours and Woodward and his team of coaches would then apply them to rugby.’
    • 2After a long time.

      ‘at length she laid down the pencil’
      • ‘The news controllers were at length forced to grapple with the issue by their correspondents' remarks.’
    the length and breadth of
    • The whole extent of.

      ‘women from the length and breadth of Russia’
      • ‘Their graves are scattered throughout the length and breadth of Europe.’
      • ‘Instead he has a brand new show, much of it drawn from an unlikely source, his weeks spent walking the length and breadth of the country.’
      • ‘Omar stated that the human rights abuses are going across the length and breadth of the state and even the womenfolk are not being spared.’
      • ‘These actions are being undertaken in thousands of locations across the length and breadth of the U.S.’
      • ‘Mr. Haneef says that he has travelled the length and breadth of Kerala over the last two decades collecting these records.’
      • ‘Yet, in a very short time, we had to operate across the length and breadth of that remote nation, using every branch of the armed forces.’
      • ‘Volunteers like this assist with charities and other community events throughout the length and breadth of our country.’
      • ‘Johnny of course is known throughout the length and breadth of Ireland and has numerous tapes, CDs and videos to his credit.’
      • ‘They are scattered over the length and breadth of the county.’
      • ‘In later years public demand saw him travelling the length and breadth of the country to deliver his budget speeches to rapt audiences.’

Origin

Old English lengthu, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch lengte, also to long.