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measure (v.)

early 14c., mesuren, "to exercise moderation;" mid-14c., "to deal out or divide up by measure," also "to ascertain spatial dimensions, quantity, or capacity of by comparison with a standard;" from Old French mesurer "measure; moderate, curb" (12c.), from Late Latin mensurare "to measure," from Latin mensura "a measuring, a measurement; thing to measure by," from mensus, past participle of metiri "to measure," from PIE root *me- (2) "to measure." The native verb is mete. Intransitive sense of "to be of a (specified) measure" is from 1670s. To measure up "have the necessary abilities" is 1910, American English. Related: Measured; measuring.

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measure (n.)

c. 1200, "moderation, temperance, abstemiousness;" c. 1300, "instrument for measuring," from Old French mesure "limit, boundary; quantity, dimension; occasion, time" (12c.), from Latin mensura "a measuring, a measurement; thing to measure by," from mensus, past participle of metiri "to measure," from PIE root *me- (2) "to measure." The native word was Old English cognate mæð "measure."

Meaning "size or quantity as ascertained by measuring" is from early 14c. Meanings "action of measuring; standard measure of quantity; system of measuring; appointed or allotted amount of anything" are from late 14c. Also from late 14c. are the senses "proper proportion; balance." Sense of "that to which something is compared to determine its quantity" is from 1570s.

In music, from late 14c. as "air, tune;" 1570s as "rhythmic pattern." Specifically as "a group of tones indicated between two primary beats" is from 1660s. From mid-15c. as "rhythmic pattern in poetry;" c. 1500 in dance. Meaning "treatment 'meted out' to someone" is from 1590s; that of "plan or course of action intended to obtain some goal" is from 1690s; sense of "legislative enactment" is from 1759. Figurative phrase for good measure is from good measure as "ample in quantity in goods sold by measure" (late 14c.).

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half-measure (n.)
"incomplete effort," 1798, from half + measure (n.).
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measureless (adj.)

"immeasurable, unlimited," late 14c., mesureles, from measure (n.) + -less.

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measurement (n.)

1718, "act of measuring," from measure (v.) + -ment. Meaning "a dimension ascertained by measuring" is from 1748. Related: Measurements.

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countermeasure (n.)

"action taken in response to a danger or threat," 1855, from counter- + measure (n.).

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remeasure (v.)

also re-measure, "to measure again or anew," 1580s, from re- "again" + measure (v.). Related: Remeasured; remeasuring; remeasurement.

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mismeasure (v.)

"measure incorrectly or inaccurately," 1742, from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + measure (v.). Related: Mismeasured; mismeasuring; mismeasurement (1813).

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measured (adj.)

late 14c., "moderate, temperate" (a sense now obsolete), past-participle adjective from measure (v.) in the sense of "exercise moderation." Meaning "uniform, regular, characterized by uniformity of movement or rhythm" is from c. 1400. That of "ascertained or determined by measuring" is from mid-15c. Meaning "deliberate, restrained" is from 1802.

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*me- (2)
*mē-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to measure." Some words may belong instead to root *med- "to take appropriate measures."

It forms all or part of: amenorrhea; centimeter; commensurate; diameter; dimension; gematria; geometry; immense; isometric; meal (n.1) "food, time for eating;" measure; menarche; meniscus; menopause; menses; menstrual; menstruate; mensural; meter (n.1) "poetic measure;" meter (n.2) unit of length; meter (n.3) "device for measuring;" -meter; Metis; metric; metrical; metronome; -metry; Monday; month; moon; parameter; pentameter; perimeter; piecemeal; semester; symmetry; thermometer; trigonometry; trimester.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit mati "measures," matra "measure;" Avestan, Old Persian ma- "to measure;" Greek metron "measure," metra "lot, portion;" Latin metri "to measure."
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