Caliber Cal"i*ber, Calibre Cal"ibre, n. [F. calibre, perh. fr. L. qualibra of what pound, of what weight; hence, of what size, applied first to a ball or bullet; cf. also Ar. q[=a]lib model, mold. Cf. {Calipers}, {Calivere}.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Gunnery) The diameter of the bore, as a cannon or other firearm, or of any tube; or the weight or size of the projectile which a firearm will carry; as, an 8 inch gun, a 12-pounder, a 44 caliber. [1913 Webster]

The caliber of empty tubes. --Reid. [1913 Webster]

A battery composed of three guns of small caliber. --Prescott. [1913 Webster]

Note: The caliber of firearms is expressed in various ways. Cannon are often designated by the weight of a solid spherical shot that will fit the bore; as, a 12-pounder; pieces of ordnance that project shell or hollow shot are designated by the diameter of their bore; as, a 12 inch mortar or a 14 inch shell gun; small arms are designated by hundredths of an inch expressed decimally; as, a rifle of .44 inch caliber. [1913 Webster]

2. The diameter of round or cylindrical body, as of a bullet or column. [1913 Webster]

3. Fig.: Capacity or compass of mind. --Burke. [1913 Webster]

{Caliber compasses}. See {Calipers}.

{Caliber rule}, a gunner's calipers, an instrument having two scales arranged to determine a ball's weight from its diameter, and conversely.

{A ship's caliber}, the weight of her armament. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Caliber — Beschreibung Fachzeitschrift für Schußwaffen und Waffentechnik Sprache deutsch Verlag VS Medien Erstausgabe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • caliber — [n1] capacity; character ability, appetency, capability, competence, constitution, dignity, distinction, endowment, essence, faculty, force, gifts, habilitation, merit, nature, parts, power, quality, scope, stature, strength, talent, value,… …   New thesaurus

  • caliber — I (measurement) noun amount, amplitude, area, breadth, broad gauge, broadness, compass, cross dimension, cross measurement, degree, diameter, diameter of a cylindrical body, dimensions, expanse, extent, full size, gauge, girth, grade, magnitude,… …   Law dictionary

  • caliber — 1560s, degree of merit or importance, from M.Fr. calibre (late 15c.), apparently ultimately from Arabic qalib a mold for casting. Arabic also used the word in the sense mold for casting bullets, which is the original literal meaning in English,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • caliber — *quality, stature Analogous words: capability, capacity, *ability: force, *power …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • caliber — [kal′ə bər] n. [Fr & Sp, ult. < Ar qālib, a mold, last, < Aram < Gr kalopodion, shoemaker s last, lit., little wooden foot < kalon, wood + pous (gen. podos), FOOT] 1. the size of a bullet or shell as measured by its diameter 2. the… …   English World dictionary

  • Caliber — The term caliber or calibre designates the interior diameter of a tube or the exterior diameter of a wire or rod. It comes from the French calibre , itself from qālib (قالب), Arabic word for mold , itself from kalamoys , Greek word for wooden… …   Wikipedia

  • caliber — (cal)    1. a unit used to express the bore of a gun. (The bore is the inside diameter of the gun barrel.) Traditionally, the diameter was stated in inches, so that .22 caliber referred to a pistol having a bore of 0.22 inches (5.588 mm). This… …   Dictionary of units of measurement

  • caliber — n. diameter of the barrel of a weapon 1) heavy; light caliber quality 2) high; low caliber 3) of a certain caliber (there are few workers left of her caliber) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • caliber — calibered; esp. Brit., calibred, adj. /kal euh beuhr/, n. 1. the diameter of something of circular section, esp. that of the inside of a tube: a pipe of three inch caliber. 2. Ordn. the diameter of the bore of a gun taken as a unit of measurement …   Universalium

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