Dimensions, quantity, or capacity as ascertained by comparison with a standard. A reference standard or sample used for the quantitative comparison of properties: The standard kilogram is maintained as a measure of mass. A unit specified by a scale, such as an inch, or by variable conditions, such as a day's march. A system of measurement, such as the metric system. A device used for measuring. The act of measuring. An evaluation or a basis of comparison: "the final measure of the worth of a society\u201d ( Joseph Wood Krutch). See Synonyms at standard. Extent or degree: The problem was in large measure caused by his carelessness. A definite quantity that has been measured out: a measure of wine. A fitting amount: a measure of recognition. A limited amount or degree: a measure of good-will. Limit; bounds: generosity knowing no measure. Appropriate restraint; moderation: "The union of . . . fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal\u201d ( William James). A legislative bill or enactment. Poetic meter. Music The metric unit between two bars on the staff; a bar. To ascertain the dimensions, quantity, or capacity of: measured the height of the ceiling. To mark, lay out, or establish dimensions for by measuring: measure off an area. To estimate by evaluation or comparison: "I gave them an account . . . of the situation as far as I could measure it\u201d ( Winston S. Churchill). To bring into comparison: She measured her power with that of a dangerous adversary. To mark off or apportion, usually with reference to a given unit of measurement: measure out a pint of milk. To serve as a measure of: The inch measures length. To consider or choose with care; weigh: He measures his words with caution. An action taken as a means to an end; an expedient. Often used in the plural: desperate measures. To allot or distribute as if by measuring; mete: The revolutionary tribunal measured out harsh justice.