From Middle English gauge, gaugen, from Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French gauger (compare Modern French jauger from Old French jaugier), from gauge (“gauging rod”), from Frankish *galga (“measuring rod, pole”), from Proto-Germanic *galgô (“pole, stake, cross”), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰalgʰ-, *ǵʰalg- (“perch, long switch”). Cognate with Old High German galgo, Old Frisian galga, Old English ġealga (“cross-beam, gallows”), Old Norse galgi (“cross-beam, gallows”), Old Norse gelgja (“pole, perch”). Doublet of gallows.
gauge (countable and uncountable, plural gauges)
- A measure; a standard of measure; an instrument to determine dimensions, distance, or capacity; a standard
- 1780, Edmund Burke, speech at The Guildhall, in Bristol
- the gauge and dimensions of misery, depression, and contempt
2008 Spring/Summer, John Zerzan, “Silence”, in Green Anarchy, number 25:
The record of philosophy vis-à-vis silence is generally dismal, as good a gauge as any to its overall failure.
- An act of measuring.
- An estimate.
- Any instrument for ascertaining or regulating the level, state, dimensions or forms of things
- A thickness of sheet metal or wire designated by any of several numbering schemes, with lower numbers indicating larger size.
- (rail transport) Ellipsis of track gauge.
2023 August 23, David E Norris, “Joseph Locke: a railway injustice...”, in RAIL, number 990, page 57:
It was Locke who concisely won the argument for a standardised gauge of 4ft 8½ inches over Brunel's 7ft 0 ¼in preference. […] Today, over 60% of the world's railways use that gauge.
- (rail transport) Ellipsis of loading gauge.
- (mathematics, mathematical analysis) A semi-norm; a function that assigns a non-negative size to all vectors in a vector space.
- (knitting) The number of stitches per inch, centimetre, or other unit of distance.
- (nautical) Relative positions of two or more vessels with reference to the wind.
- A vessel has the weather gauge of another when on the windward side of it, and the lee gauge when on the lee side of it.
- (nautical) The depth to which a vessel sinks in the water.
- (plastering) The quantity of plaster of Paris used with common plaster to make it set more quickly.
- That part of a shingle, slate, or tile, which is exposed to the weather, when laid; also, one course of such shingles, slates, or tiles.
- (firearms) A unit of measurement which describes how many spheres of bore diameter of a shotgun can be had from one pound of lead; 12 gauge is roughly equivalent to .75 caliber.
- (US, slang, by extension) A shotgun (synecdoche for 12 gauge shotgun, the most common chambering for combat and hunting shotguns).
1992, “A Nigga Witta Gun”, in The Chronic, performed by Dr. Dre, Death Row Records:
I'm talking about cocking a gauge in between your eyes.
1996, “Illusions”, in Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom, performed by Cypress Hill:
I'm tryin to find ways to cope / But I ain't fuckin' round with the gauge or a rope
2000, “Grab The Gauge”, in Underground Vol. 3: Kings of Memphis, performed by Three 6 Mafia:
It happens everyday don't make me grab the gauge / Dangerously I play, I best to kill with the gauge / And put ya body in the back of that grey Chevrolet
- A tunnel-like ear piercing consisting of a hollow ring embedded in the lobe.
- Synonym: ear gauge
2013, Destiny Patterson, Samantha Beckworth, Jennifer Proctor, Arose, page 150:
Jenni didn't really look as though she fit in with the rest of the girls here, she had a nose piercing and angel bites, her long curly dark brown hair with red highlights was pulled back exposing gauges and many other ear piercings and a tattoo […]
- (slang, uncountable) Cannabis.
1971, Black Creation, volumes 3-6, page 53:
[…] smoking gauge was a new phenomenon to Himes: “When I looked up after turning the corner, all the grimy facades seemed to be a blaze of bright colors, gold, scarlet, blue, green, like an array of peacocks. […]
2000, Cynthia Palmer, Michael Horowitz, Sisters of the Extreme:
When we settled, he said, “You've been smoking gauge, haven't you?”
a measure; a standard of measure; an instrument to determine dimensions, distance, or capacity; a standard
- Bulgarian: мярка (bg) f (mjarka), размер (bg) m (razmer), шаблон (bg) m (šablon)
- Mandarin: 標準尺寸／标准尺寸 (biāozhǔn chǐcùn), 標準規格／标准规格 (biāozhǔn guīgé)
- Danish: mål (da) n
- Dutch: meter (nl)
- Finnish: mitta (fi)
- French: gabarit (fr) m
- Georgian: ზომა (zoma), ოდენობა (odenoba), მასშტაბი (ka) (masšṭabi), გაბარიტი (gabariṭi), კალიბრი (ḳalibri)
- German: Meter (de) n, Messgerät (de) n, Maß (de) n
- Italian: calibro (it) m, unità di misura (it) f, strumento di misura m
- Latvian: mērogs (lv) m
- Bokmål: mål (no) n
- Nynorsk: mål n
- Polish: miara (pl) f, wymiar (pl) m
- Portuguese: medida (pt) f, medição (pt) f
- Romanian: gabarit (ro) n, calibru (ro) n, etalon (ro) n, standard (ro) n
- Russian: ме́ра (ru) f (méra), кали́бр (ru) m (kalíbr), разме́р (ru) m (razmér), масшта́б (ru) m (masštáb), габари́т (ru) m (gabarít)
- Spanish: medida (es) f, patrón (es) m
- Swahili: geji (sw)
- Swedish: mått (sv)
any instrument for ascertaining or regulating the level, state, dimensions or forms of things; as, a rain gauge; a steam gauge
- Bulgarian: измерителен уред m (izmeritelen ured)
- Mandarin: 計量器／计量器 (zh) (jìliàngqì, jìliángqì)
- Danish: måler (da) c
- Dutch: meetinstrument (nl) n
- Finnish: mittari (fi)
- French: étalon (fr) m
- Georgian: საზომი ხელსაწყო (sazomi xelsac̣q̇o), მზომი (mzomi), ეტალონი (eṭaloni), კრიტერიუმი (ḳriṭeriumi), საზომი (sazomi), ყალიბი (q̇alibi)
- German: Messgerät (de) n, Meter (de) f
- Hebrew: מחוון (he) m (machván)
- Italian: calibro (it) m
- Japanese: 計量器 (ja) (けいりょうき, keiryōki), 計器 (ja) (けいき, keiki)
- Korean: 계량기 (gyeryanggi)
- Bokmål: måler m
- Nynorsk: målar m
- Plautdietsch: Tala m
- Polish: przyrząd pomiarowy m, wzorzec (pl)
- Portuguese: medidor (pt)
- Russian: измери́тельный прибо́р m (izmerítelʹnyj pribór), измери́тель (ru) m (izmerítelʹ), лека́ло (ru) n (lekálo), этало́н (ru) m (etalón), шабло́н (ru) m (šablón), метр (ru) m (metr)
- Spanish: medidor m
- Swahili: geji (sw)
- Swedish: mätare (sv) c
- Tagalog: pansukod
- Uyghur: ئۆلچىگۈچ (ölchigüch)
a semi-norm; a function that assigns a non-negative size to all vectors in a vector space
gauge (third-person singular simple present gauges, present participle gauging, simple past and past participle gauged)
- (transitive) To measure or determine with a gauge; to measure the capacity of.
- (transitive) To estimate.
- (transitive) To appraise the character or ability of; to judge of.
c. 1596–1598 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene ii]:
You shall not gauge me / By what we do to-night.
- (textile, transitive) To draw into equidistant gathers by running a thread through it.
- (transitive) To mix (a quantity of ordinary plaster) with a quantity of plaster of Paris.
- (transitive) To chip, hew or polish (stones, bricks, etc) to a standard size and/or shape.
to appraise the character of
to chip to standard shape
From Old Northern French gauge, from Frankish *galga, from Proto-Germanic *galgô. Doublet of galwes.
- IPA(key): /ˈɡau̯d͡ʒ(ə)/, /ˈɡaːd͡ʒ(ə)/
- A customary measurement or scale.
gauge oblique singular, f (oblique plural gauges, nominative singular gauge, nominative plural gauges)
- Alternative form of jauge