size

size n Size, dimensions, area, extent, magnitude, volume are here compared primarily as terms meaning the amount of space occupied or sometimes of time or energy used by a thing and determinable by measuring.
Size usually refers to things having length, width, and depth or height; it need not imply accurate mathematical measurements but may suggest a mere estimate of these
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the size of this box is 10 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 5 inches deep

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these trees are not the right size

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what is the size of the room?

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that exceptional mushroom, skull-like in its proportions and bold in sizeMailer

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Size is also referable to things which cannot be measured in themselves, but can be computed in terms of the number of individuals which comprise them or the amount of space occupied by those individuals
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the mere complexity and size of a modern state is against the identification of the man with the citizen— Dickinson

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Since dimension means measurement in a single direction (as the line of length, or breadth, or depth) the plural dimensions, used collectively, is a close synonym of size; in contrast, however, it usually implies accurate measurements that are known or specified
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the window frames must be exactly alike in dimensions

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the dimensions of the universe are not calculable

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the dimensions of the lot are 75 by 100 feet

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no reliable calipers exist long enough to stretch into the next century and measure the dimensions of greatness— Fadiman

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Area is referable only to things measurable in the two dimensions length and breadth. It is used of plane figures or of plane surfaces (as the ground, a floor, or an arena) and is computed in square measure
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the estate is 200 acres in area

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the forest fire covered an area of ten square miles

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the area of a rectangle is computed by multiplying its length by its breadth

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the major areas of the world are in the throes of revolutionary social change— Geismar

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Extent is referable chiefly to things that are measured in one dimension; it may be the length or the breadth, but it is usually thought of as the length
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the driveway's extent is 100 feet

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the wings of the airplane are 75 feet in extent

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However it is often used as though it were the equivalent of area
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the basement of St. Katherine's Dock House is vast in extent and confusing in its plan— Conrad

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the reports . . . constantly express amazement at the extent and severity of Russian attacks and counterattacks— Shirer

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The word is also referable to measured time or to space measured in terms of time; thus, the duration of a thing is the extent of its existence
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few lives reach the extent of one hundred years

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Germany was ... a nine days' march from north to south, and of incalculable extent from west to east— Buchan

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Magnitude, largely a mathematical and technical term, may be used in reference to size or two-dimensional extent
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a queer little isolated point in time, with no magnitude, but only position— Rose Macaulay

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It may be used also in reference to something measurable whose exact quantity, extent, or degree may be expressed in mathematical figures; thus, the magnitude of a star is indicated by a number that expresses its relative brightness
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an alpha particle bearing a positive charge equal in magnitude to twice the electron charge— Darrow

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the magnitude of the structure as a whole and the massive nature of its details are never obtrusive— O. S. Nock

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Volume (see also BULK) is also a technical term; it is used in reference to something that can be measured or considered in terms of cubic measurements; thus, the volume of a solid cylinder is equal to the cubic measure of air it displaces, and that of a hollow one, to the cubic measure of its capacity; two objects that are equal in volume may differ greatly in weight; when a thing expands, it increases in volume
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we could readily store a million times as many stars in the present volume of the system— B. J. Bok

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you may say that the waves ... are not like real waves; but they move, they have force and volumeBinyon

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Analogous words: amplitude, *expanse, spread, stretch: *bulk, mass, volume

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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