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From Middle English lengthe, from Old English lengþu ‎(longness; length), from Proto-Germanic *langiþō, equivalent to long +‎ -th. Cognate with Scots lenth, lainth ‎(length), Saterland Frisian Loangte ‎(length), West Frisian lingte, langte ‎(length), Dutch lengte ‎(length), German Low German Längde, Längd, Längte, Längt ‎(length), Danish længde ‎(length), Swedish längd ‎(length), Icelandic lengd ‎(length).



length ‎(plural lengths)

  1. The distance measured along the longest dimension of an object.
  2. duration
    • Robert Frost
      Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.
  3. (horse racing) The length of a horse, used to indicate the distance between horses at the end of a race.
  4. (mathematics) Distance between the two ends of a line segment.
  5. (cricket) The distance down the pitch that the ball bounces on its way to the batsman.
  6. (figuratively) Total extent.
    the length of a book
  7. Part of something that is long; a physical piece of something.
    a length of rope

Derived terms[edit]



length ‎(third-person singular simple present lengths, present participle lengthing, simple past and past participle lengthed)

  1. (obsolete) To lengthen.


Most common English words before 1923: France · London · save · #579: length · play · remained · bear