|Origin:||lengthu, from lang; LONG1|
the measurement of how long something is from one end to the other [↪ breadth, width]:
size[uncountable and countable]
We measured the length and width of the living room.
a length of 1 metre/2 feet etc
Some fish can grow to a length of four feet.
2 feet/10 metres etc in length
The hotel pool is 15 metres in length.
You'll need several pieces of string of different lengths.
the amount of time that you spend doing something or that something continues [↪ duration]
time[uncountable and countable]
Your pension will depend on your length of employment.
What's the average length of stay in hospital?
(not) for any length of time (=not for very long)
He wasn't left alone for any length of time.
the amount of writing in a book, or the amount of time that a film, play etc continues
books/films etc[uncountable and countable]
We had to cut the length of the book by one third.
of this length
Films of this length (=as long as this) are pretty unusual.
to go or move from one end to the other of something:
The wall ran the full length of the garden.
They walked the length of the pier.
reaching down as far as your shoulders etc:
an ankle-length dress
to try very hard or to do whatever is necessary to achieve something that is important to you:
He went to great lengths to keep their name out of the papers.
Bella would go to any lengths to fulfil her ambition.
if you talk at length about something, you talk about it for a long time
speak/talk etc at length
The young people spoke at length about their experiences.
We've already discussed the subject at great length.
after a long time:
'I don't agree,' she said at length.
in or through every part of a large area:
The police searched the length and breadth of the country.
a piece of something long and thin
the measurement of a horse, boat etc from one end to the other - used when saying how far the horse, boat etc is ahead of another
by a/one/two etc lengths
The horse won by three lengths.
the distance from one end of a swimming pool to the other
do/swim a length
She does at least 20 lengths a day.