length (lĕngkth, lĕngth, lĕnth)
1. The state, quality, or fact of being long. See Usage Note at strength.
2. The measurement of the extent of something along its greatest dimension: the length of the boat.
3. A piece, often of a standard size, that is normally measured along its greatest dimension: a length of cloth.
4. A measure used as a unit to estimate distances: won the race by a length.
5. Extent or distance from beginning to end: the length of a novel; the length of a journey.
6. The amount of time between specified moments; the duration: the length of a meeting.
7. often lengths Extent or degree to which an action or policy is carried: went to great lengths to prove his point.
a. The duration of a vowel.
b. The duration of a syllable.
9. The vertical extent of a garment. Often used in combination: knee-length; floor-length.
1. After some time; eventually: At length we arrived at our destination.
2. For a considerable time; fully: spoke at length about the court ruling.
[Middle English, from Old English lengthu; see del-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus