Definition of gauge in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡāj/
(chiefly technical also gage)


1An instrument or device for measuring the magnitude, amount, or contents of something, typically with a visual display of such information.
Example sentences
  • On some equipment, a visual sight glass or gauge shows fluid levels without opening the system, while on others a dipstick or other manual measuring device is used.
  • Its new electric utility vehicle features a fuel gauge that displays the current level of battery power.
  • On a desktop computer in the debrief room, you can display flight instruments, gauges, flight paths, and tactical plots.
measuring device, measuring instrument, meter, measure;
indicator, dial, scale, display
1.1A tool for checking whether something conforms to a desired dimension.
Example sentences
  • She opens the lid to display an array of instruments and enthusiastically picks out a tool gauge and micrometer.
  • They had been using feeler and plug gages to check the center discs that are stamped for the steel auto wheels it produces; there are 40 disc variations in production.
  • Jointer gauges are not particularly rare tools.
1.2A means of estimating something; a criterion or test: emigration is perhaps the best gauge of public unease
More example sentences
  • To him the gauge of ‘rightness’ is inclusion in and support by the major and calcified institutions to which Trudeau has been admitted.
  • You know, sometimes the police ask questions when they know the answers because that's giving you a gauge of what kind of person you're dealing with.
  • But given the political progress, that should not necessarily be considered an accurate gauge of the enemy's future.
measure, indicator, barometer, point of reference, guide, guideline, touchstone, yardstick, benchmark, criterion, test, litmus test
2The thickness, size, or capacity of something, especially as a standard measure, in particular.
Example sentences
  • If you get a good tent, it's 60 gauges, about 130 pounds, it can take care of a family of five to seven throughout the winter, and you can have some items inside the tent that will keep the family warm.
  • A rough analogy: using a net of a certain gauge will fail to catch fish of a certain size, but these uncaught ones are not a definite category of fish.
  • Other popular fabrics for the season include corduroy, but in a finer gauge than was worn during the autumn and winter, and very fine woollens and knitwear.
size, diameter, thickness, width, breadth;
measure, capacity, magnitude;
bore, caliber
2.1The diameter of a string, fiber, tube, etc. [as modifier]: a fine 0.018-inch gauge wire
More example sentences
  • They are not made with the thinner gauge wire which can be easily damaged and bent.
  • Be sure to use the proper gauge wiring in extension cords.
  • Of course we would like it because it was part of the No.8 gauge galvanised iron wire that was used in the original overland telegraph line.
2.2 [in combination] A measure of the diameter of a gun barrel, or of its ammunition, expressed as the number of spherical pieces of shot of the same diameter as the barrel that can be made from 1 pound (454 g) of lead: [as modifier]: a 12-gauge shotgun
More example sentences
  • For example, suppose you accidentally loaded a 20-gauge shell into a 12 - gauge shotgun.
  • In the loft they found a sawn-off, single-barrel 12 - gauge shotgun, a cartridge belt and a number of cartridges which were compatible with the gun.
  • She said he did not have a permit for any of the weapons he was carrying: a semiautomatic assault rifle, a 12 - gauge shotgun and a pistol.
2.3 [in combination] The thickness of sheet metal or plastic: [as modifier]: 500-gauge polyethylene
More example sentences
  • Self-tapping screws have a special point that resembles a drill bit and are capable of cutting their own pilot hole in light gauge sheet metal.
  • Where necessary, 2x1 planed timber will be used for supporting the polythene, and in all cases only 1000 gauge polythene will be used.
  • Heavy gauge sheet materials are used by a variety of industries for a myriad of products.
2.4The distance between the rails of a line of railroad track: the line was laid to a gauge of 2 ft. 9 in
More example sentences
  • Narrow Gauge is a description of a railway's track gauge.
  • Incidentally, the references to the Australian system are to the way its (state-run) railways ended up with three separate track gauges.
  • Alternatively, we could work with a narrower gauge track for the meantime and upgrade the line as need be.
3 (usually the gage) Nautical , historical The position of a sailing vessel to windward ( weather gage) or leeward ( lee gage) of another.
Example sentences
  • A ship sought weather gage of its enemy, so that it had freedom of maneuver, and could close if it wished.


[with object]
1Estimate or determine the magnitude, amount, or volume of: astronomers can gauge the star’s intrinsic brightness
More example sentences
  • You can only gauge how well any tool works by putting it into action.
  • The enzyme's angular torque profile under load can be gauged by measuring the average curvature and the stochastic fluctuations of actin filaments.
  • Researchers also recorded the subjects' body mass index - a measure used to gauge obesity.
measure, calculate, compute, work out, determine, ascertain;
count, weigh, quantify, put a figure on, pin down
1.1Form a judgment or estimate of (a situation, mood, etc.): she is unable to gauge his mood
More example sentences
  • Whips try to gauge the mood of members, assess how they will express their unhappiness with party policies, and cajole, bully, or conciliate the potential dissident.
  • Usually she could gauge his moods but this was an extreme situation.
  • I had now learned to gauge her emotional moods like a seismologist reads a Richter scale.
assess, evaluate, determine, estimate, form an opinion of, appraise, get the measure of, judge, guess
informal guesstimate, size up
2Measure the dimensions of (an object) with a gauge: when dry, the assemblies can be gauged exactly and planed to width
More example sentences
  • It had 400 full-time people working in the water and soil division, gauging the rivers and measuring the flows.
  • It isn't a tangible quantity; it can't be measured or gauged.
  • Wendy pulled out a tape measure and gauged the distance between the side of the dryer and the wall.
2.1 (as adjective gauged) Made in standard dimensions: gauged sets of strings
More example sentences
  • For the firebox and hearth, we selected African Prairie Slate, a richly patterned stone that is sold in gauged (evenly thick) 12-inch squares.
  • Covered in gauged green slate tiles, the garage has the look of a built-in.



Pronunciation: /ˈɡājəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • The measuring device of the invention is gaugeable and is capable of complying with industry requirements.
  • To achieve authentic results for the lifetime of your coatings you have to test them under gageable conditions.
  • Once leaks are identified, using gaugeable tube fittings reduces problems, improves equipment reliability, and conserves energy.


Pronunciation: /ˈɡājər/
Example sentences
  • Later, he also worked as a surveyor and wine gauger.
  • Contact gagers are accurate for fairly limited thickness ranges of strip, but suffer from several disadvantages.
  • The chart below provides historic Average Annual Wages for Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers in the U.S.


Middle English (denoting a standard measure): from Old French gauge (noun), gauger (verb), variant of Old Northern French jauge (noun), jauger (verb), of unknown origin.

Words that rhyme with gauge

age, assuage, backstage, cage, downstage, engage, enrage, gage, mage, multistage, offstage, onstage, Osage, page, Paige, rage, rampage, sage, stage, swage, under-age, upstage, wage

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gauge

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