From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishlengthlength /leŋθ/ ●●● S2 W2 noun 1 size [countable, uncountable]LONG the measurement of how long something is from one end to the other → breadth, width 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.2 time [countable, uncountable]TIME/HOW LONG the amount of time that you spend doing something or that something continues → durationlength of 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.RegisterIn everyday English, people usually talk about how long something is in space or time, rather than using the noun length: We need to know the length of the table. → We need to know how long the table is. | He was annoyed by the length of time he had to wait. → He was annoyed by how long he had to wait.3 books/films etc [countable, uncountable]LONG the amount of writing in a book, or the amount of time that a film, play etc continueslength of 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.4 → run/stretch/walk etc the (full) length of something5 → shoulder-length/knee-length etc6 → go to some/great/any lengths (to do something)7 → at (some/great etc) length8 → the length and breadth of the area/country/land etc9 piece [countable]LONG a piece of something long and thina length of rope/pipe/wire etc10 in races [countable]DSH 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 The horse won by three lengths.11 swimming [countable]DSS the distance from one end of a swimming pool to the otherdo/swim a length She does at least 20 lengths a day. → hold something at arm’s length at arm1(8), → keep/hold somebody at arm’s length at arm1(9), → full-length1COLLOCATIONSverbsmeasure the length of somethingThe children measured the length of their shadows at three different times of day.have a length of 1 metre/2 feet etcThese leaves have a length of about 7 cm.grow to/reach a length of 2 metres/8 feet etcA blue whale can reach a length of 100 feet.run the length of something (=exist along the whole length of something)A long corridor ran the length of the building.adjectivesthe total lengthThe total length of the completed railway line will be almost 650 kilometres.an average lengthThese worms grow to an average length of about 1 metre.the whole/full/entire length of somethingThe camera looks down the full length of the street.medium lengthAll the girls had short or medium length hair.equal/unequal lengthShe drew two lines of equal length.a maximum/minimum lengthThis species of fish can reach a maximum length of 12 inches.
Examples from the Corpuslength• These fish can grow to a length of four feet.• The average length of a stay in the hospital has dropped sharply.• Actually, no-one has legs of exactly equal length.• The service developments which followed the Home Support Project will be discussed at greater length in the final chapter.• The leaves reach 20-25 cm in length.• The two pieces or rope were unequal in length.• For most of its length it didn't look hard enough and then, with its final roll, it fell in.• Bear in mind that all sections must add up to the overall length measurement.• Try these trousers, they look about the right length.• Do you want your hair at the back to be the same length as the sides?• Ron swims several lengths every morning.• Thread a small length of round elastic through the base of the puppet.• At ten lengths the furthest Pfalz turned to meet the attack, far too late.• In silence, they watched the man's progress along the length of the corridor.• Greene's book is less than half the length of most novels.• I like the length of this skirt.• Measure the length of all three sides of the triangle.• This in turn led to criticism of the length and complexity of documents that customers were being asked to sign.• Aksar won by three lengths.• The windows stretch across the whole length of the wall.length of• The leaves reach a length of about 4 inches.• a length of ropeof this length• A review of this length can only touch on its range.a length of rope/pipe/wire etc• Being Vinnie that means two blondes, a length of rope and a tiger skin.• The man in the cradle was whistling to himself and coiling a length of rope.• Together the two of them set out for Lamri, leading the goat on a length of rope.• She too was calm and stood patiently while he attached the chain to a length of rope around her neck.• Left: Waterfalls can chill your water in the winter, unless you divert the flow with a length of pipe.Origin length Old English lengthu, from lang; → LONG1