Definition of caliber in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkaləbər/
(British calibre , abbreviation cal or cal.)


1The quality of someone’s character or the level of someone’s ability: they could ill afford to lose a man of his caliber
More example sentences
  • Candidates of character and calibre with a sense of dedication and social commitment alone are to be elected.
  • And they are well aware of our real character, our real calibre, and our real commitment to putting the people first.
  • Love them or hate them, leaders of high calibre have the ability to grip the imagination; to make people feel that they've been swept up and carried in a direction of great promise.
quality, merit, distinction, stature, excellence, preeminence;
ability, expertise, talent, capability, capacity, proficiency
1.1The standard reached by something: educational facilities of a very high caliber
More example sentences
  • With players of that calibre reaching full fitness and Duff still to be unleashed, the next couple of months could well prove extremely interesting.
  • Still if they can manage to recruit the right calibre of personnel to stand alongside Mayor Nuala Ryan who knows how things may pan out for them.
  • So what does an actor of MacLachlan's calibre do to reach the A-list - even if it's just for a fleeting moment?
2The internal diameter or bore of a gun barrel: [in combination]: a .22 caliber repeater rifle
More example sentences
  • Improved projectiles were as important as larger calibres and longer barrels.
  • The barrel flutes vary in size for different calibers and barrel lengths, and perform a couple of functions.
  • For larger calibers and long-gun bores, the 3 - Piece Large Rifle Calibers and Shotgun Kits contain a larger-diameter rod.
2.1The diameter of a bullet, shell, or rocket.
Example sentences
  • At least 834 bullets of various calibers, weapons and three ready-to-use bomb circuits were also confiscated.
  • While the gargantuan engineering firm is better known for its hydro dams in Cree country, it also makes a lot of bullets, of different calibres, specifications and killing techniques.
  • Anyway, eh, I figure that the calibre of the bullets, plus the range and angle used whilst firing the weapon on the lock would figure in to it somewhere.
bore, diameter, gauge
2.2The diameter of a circular body, such as a tube, blood vessel, or fiber.
Example sentences
  • It regulates the calibre of blood vessels to vary the distribution of blood to the organs, whilst also maintaining the correct blood pressure.
  • A decrease in the caliber of blood vessels going to the ‘light’ areas suggests airway disease or vasculopathy.
  • Mental states occasion also changes in the calibre of blood-vessels, or alteration in the heart-beats, or processes more subtle still, in glands and viscera.



[also in combination]
Example sentences
  • Whereupon the man drew a heavy calibered revolver and shot him in the abdomen, the bullet coming out through his side.
  • In fact, the only large calibered piece not thus mounted is the Schneider mortar, a very efficient weapon, having a remarkably smooth recoil, which has a range of over six miles.
  • This is a paper target handgun and small calibered rifle range.


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'social standing or importance'): from French calibre, from Italian calibro, perhaps from Arabic ḳālib 'mold', based on Greek kalapous 'shoemaker's last'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cal·i·ber

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