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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun length:


The word length is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

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Definition of the noun length

What does length mean as a name of something?

Length is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

noun - plural: lengths

  1. the linear extent in space from one end to the other; the longest dimension of something that is fixed in place
    • example: the length of the table was 5 feet
    • lexical domain: Attributes - nouns denoting attributes of people and objects
    • more generic terms: physical property = any property used to characterize matter and energy and their interactions; dimension = the magnitude of something in a particular direction; fundamental measure / fundamental quantity = one of the four quantities that are the basis of systems of measurement
    • more specific words:
      • circumference = the length of the closed curve of a circle
      • diameter / diam = the length of a straight line passing through the center of a circle and connecting two points on the circumference
      • radius / r = the length of a line segment between the center and circumference of a circle or sphere
      • longness = the property of being of long spatial extent
      • shortness = the property of being of short spatial extent
    • attributes:
      • long = primarily spatial sense
      • short = having little length or lacking in length
  2. continuance in time
  3. the property of being the extent of something from beginning to end
    • example: the editor limited the length of my article to 500 words
    • lexical domain: Attributes - nouns denoting attributes of people and objects
    • more generic word: extent = the distance or area or volume over which something extends
  4. size of the gap between two places
    • example: he determined the length of the shortest line segment joining the two points
    • lexical domain: Attributes - nouns denoting attributes of people and objects
    • synonym of length: distance
    • more generic word: size = the physical magnitude of something
    • more specific terms:
      • leg = the distance traveled by a sailing vessel on a single tack
      • arm's length = a distance sufficient to exclude intimacy
      • gauge = the distance between the rails of a railway or between the wheels of a train
      • light time = distance measured in terms of the speed of light
      • skip distance = the shortest distance that permits radio signals (of a given frequency) to travel from the transmitter to the receiver by reflection from the ionosphere
      • wingspread / wingspan = linear distance between the extremities of an airfoil
      • wingspread = distance between the tips of the wings (as of a bird or insect) when fully extended
      • altitude = the perpendicular distance from the base of a geometric figure to the opposite vertex
  5. a section of something that is long and narrow
    • examples: a length of timber | a length of tubing
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • more generic words: section / segment = one of several parts or pieces that fit with others to constitute a whole object

Alternative definition of the noun length


  1. The measurement of distance along the longest dimension of an object.
  2. See duration.
  3. [context: 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
  7. part of something that's long, a physical piece of something

Specialised definition of the noun length

Glossary of sports / cricket

the distance from the bowler at which the ball pitches; if a bowler bowls 'a good length' or 'on a length', the ball pitches at a distance such that the batsman cannot easily play an attacking stroke (2005. Chambers Sports Factfinder. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd)

Glossary of sports / dog racing

length of a dog's body; one of a number of terms used to indicate the distance between two dogs finishing a race (2005. Chambers Sports Factfinder. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd)

Glossary of sports / equestrian

the length of a horse, as used in reporting the distances between horses at the finishing post (2005. Chambers Sports Factfinder. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd)

  • example: Silver Patriarch won by two lengths.

Glossary of sports / rowing

the length of a boat used to judge the distance between boats. At the race's completion a boat may be said to have won by '6 lengths' or '4 ½ lengths', for example (2005. Chambers Sports Factfinder. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd)


  1. Length: In geometric measurements, length is the longest dimension of an object. In the International System of Quantities, length is any quantity with dimension distance. In other contexts "length" is the measured dimension of an object. For example it is possible to cut a length of a wire which is shorter than wire thickness.
    • also known as มาตราวัดความยาว, Longitud dimensional, 长度
  2. Length a.k.a. Horse length: A horse length, or simply length, is a unit of measurement for the length of a horse from nose to tail, approximately 8 feet.
  3. Length: The river's length in km from origin to mouth.
  4. Length: In phonetics, length or quantity is a feature of sounds that have distinctively extended duration compared with other sounds. There are long vowels as well as long consonants.
  5. The length of this recording in seconds.
  6. The length of this release track. (Note that this may differ from the length of the associated recording, since there is some degree of variability in the length of a given recording on different releases and media.
  7. The length of the longest side of a bounding box drawn around the structure at ground level. Note that for structures with a circular footprint, this is the diameter.

Phrases with Length

  1. Length overall
  2. at length
  3. hip-length
  4. body length
  5. full-length
  6. Good Length
  7. half-length
  8. knee-length
  9. Path length
  10. arm's length
  11. Block Length
  12. cable length
  13. Floor-Length
  14. focal length
  15. waist-length
  16. Planck Length
  17. cable's length
  18. at arm's length
  19. Line and length
  20. Null Path Length

View more phrases with the word Length in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Length

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewSection 04. Dimensioning, Gaging and Measuring – Machinery’s ...

Sampling length is the nominal spacing within which a surface characteristic is determined. The range of sampling lengths is a key specification of a measuring instrument. Spacing is the distance between specified points on the profile ...

Google previewShop Reference for Students & Apprentices:

Waviness sampling length is a concept no longer used. See waviness long- wavelength cutoff and waviness...

Google previewThe Regularized Fast Hartley Transform (2010)

Optimal Formulation of Real-Data Fast Fourier Transform for Silicon-Based Implementation in Resource-Constrained Environments by Keith Jones

The results discussed so far in this monograph have been concerned solely with the application of the R24 FHT to the computation of the real-data DFT where the transform length is a power of four. Given the amount of effort and resources ...

Google previewA Concrete Approach to Abstract Algebra (2009)

From the Integers to the Insolvability of the Quintic by Jeffrey Bergen

S is the complex numbers whose length is a positive integer and ◦ is multiplication. S is the complex numbers whose length is a positive rational number and ◦ is multiplication. 6. S is the complex numbers whose length is a positive rational ...

Google previewHow to Cheat in Maya 2012 (2013)

Tools and Techniques for Character Animation by Eric Luhta

Simply put, stride length is the distance that a character travels in one complete cycle. If you are animating a biped, one stride would be two steps. If you are animating a quadruped like a dog or a cat, the stride length is the distance the character covers after all four...

A good way E to think of this for the purposes of stride length is that the 5 ball is a uniped (one footed), and the "foot" is the entire character.

Google previewComprehensive Practical Science X (2011)

by S. P. Saxena, Dheeraj Saxena

Because the focal length is the reciprocal of power. 29. (b) Because the total power is P1 + P2. 30. (b) Because the power of...

Focal length is a distance between ...

Google previewA Laboratory Course in Java (2001)

by Nell B. Dale

length is a method that is applied to an object of type String using dot notation: the name of the String object, followed by a dot (period), followed by the name of the method. length is a value-returning method, so it is used in an expression.

Google previewProgramming and Problem Solving with Java (2011)

by Nell Dale, University of Texas Austin Nell Dale, Chip Weems

length is a method that is applied to an object of type String using dot notation: the name of the String object, ...

Google previewHTML, CSS and JavaScript All in One, Sams Teach Yourself (2014)

Covering HTML5, CSS3, and jQuery by Julie C. Meloni

length is the number of elements in the gbForm form. You can also access form elements using the W3C DOM. In this case, you use an id attribute on the form element in the HTML document, and use the document.

Google previewTelevision Production Handbook (2011)

by Herbert Zettl

FOCAL LENGTH The focal length is the distance from the optical center of the lens to the front surface of the imaging...

Google previewCCENT/CCNA ICND1 640-822 Official Cert Guide (2011)

by Wendell Odom

The classless address rules' prefix length is the length of the combined network and subnet parts when using classful IP addressing concepts. Mathematically, the prefix length is equal to the number of binary 1s in the mask. In this case, with a ...

Google previewFishes of the Gulf of Mexico, Volume 2 (1998)

Scorpaeniformes to Tetraodontiformes by John D. McEachran, Janice D. Fechhelm

Standard length is the distance from the tip of the snout to the end of the hypural plate and is determined by bending the tail against a flat surface and measuring to the seam representing the junction between the hypural plate and the fin rays.

Google previewIllustrated Encyclopedia of Applied and Engineering Physics, Three-Volume Set (2017)

by Robert Splinter

Length,. chord. [fluid dynamics, general, geometry, mechanics] The length of a traced curved path or one-dimensional extend of a real or virtual curved surface ( e.g., wing surface in direction of flow) (see chord).

Google previewMath Dictionary With Solutions (1999)

by Chris Kornegay

Letting x represent the length of the longer leg, we have the proportion o; = #. Letting z represent the length of the hypotenuse, we have the proportion # = #. Solving each proportion, we have the lengths of the sides: x 4 and z 4 M3 T 1 2 T 1 ...

Google previewDictionary of Optometry and Visual Science (2014)

by Michel Millodot

length, equivalent focal In an optical system composed of more than one lens, it is the linear distance separating the principal ...

Google previewLogic and Lexicon (2013)

The Semantics of the Indefinite by Manfred Pinkal

_– There are two different but equally plausible methods of determining the length of the upper pencil stroke in (8): as before, we can measure the maximal direct distance, and alternatively, we could measure along the actual, irregular ...

Google previewDictionary of Scientific Principles (2011)

by Stephen Marvin

Woltjer Minimum Energy Principle SCANNING TUNNELING MICROSCOPE Minimum Description Length Principle; Maximizing Principle SCATTER CORRECTION Parsimony Principle; Principle of Parsimonius Data Modeling SCATTERER ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Length

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Photos about Length

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Chain length

You're supposed to wrap the chain around the largest cog and chainring, add an inch, and remove the rest of the chain for optimal length.

Photo credit: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Amused beautiful young woman in pink mini dress posing with hand on hip and looking away. Three quarter length studio shot on turquoise background. More...

Video language resources about Length

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View more videos about At Length, Full Length, Good Length, Path length, cable length, Focal length, Planck length, Screening Length, and Commutator Length.

See also the pronunciation examples of Length!

Quotes about Length

My deal was that they would use a full-length picture of me in my underwear and a full-length picture of me all done up, and they would write about how long it took and how much it cost, because that was the whole point. It was very liberating. (Jamie Lee Curtis)
more quotes about length...

Scrabble value of L1E1N1G2T1H4

The value of this 6-letter word is 10 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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