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caliber

[kal-uh-ber] /ˈkæl ə bər/
noun
1.
the diameter of something of circular section, especially that of the inside of a tube:
a pipe of three-inch caliber.
2.
Ordnance. the diameter of the bore of a gun taken as a unit of measurement.
3.
degree of capacity or competence; ability:
a mathematician of high caliber.
4.
degree of merit or excellence; quality:
the high moral caliber of the era.
Also, especially British, calibre.
Origin
1560-1570
1560-70; variant of calibre < Middle FrenchArabic qālib mold, last < Greek kālápous shoe last, equivalent to kāla- combining form of kâlon wood + poús foot (see -pod)
Related forms
calibered; especially British, calibred, adjective
Synonyms
4. worth, distinction.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for calibers
  • Firearms of all calibers and types are commonly used for plinking.
Word Origin and History for calibers

caliber

n.

1560s, "degree of merit or importance," a figurative use from Middle French 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 oldest literal meaning in English. Meaning "inside diameter of a gun barrel" is attested from 1580s. Barnhart remarks that Spanish calibre, Italian calibro "appear too late to act as intermediate forms" between the Arabic word and the French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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calibers in Medicine

caliber cal·i·ber (kāl'ə-bər)
n.
The diameter of the inside of a round cylinder, such as a tube.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for calibers

caliber

in firearms, unit of measure indicating the interior, or bore, diameter of a gun barrel and the diameter of the gun's ammunition; or the length of a gun expressed in relation to its interior diameter (now used only of naval and coastal defense guns). See bore

Learn more about caliber with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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12
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