Why was clemency trending last week?


[kal-uh-ber] /ˈkæl ə bər/
the diameter of something of circular section, especially that of the inside of a tube:
a pipe of three-inch caliber.
Ordnance. the diameter of the bore of a gun taken as a unit of measurement.
degree of capacity or competence; ability:
a mathematician of high caliber.
degree of merit or excellence; quality:
the high moral caliber of the era.
Also, especially British, calibre.
Origin of caliber
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
4. worth, distinction. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for calibre
  • In a story of this calibre a complex of incidents would be superfluous.
  • No temporal shift capabilities, poor armour, small calibre weaponry and a fairly poor range of travel.
  • There is no reason that one cannot be a parent and be a physicist of the highest calibre.
  • Movies employing high-calibre weapons have traditionally required only low-calibre actors to make them go bang-bang.
  • The free agent pool is light on high calibre talent.
  • What's been overdue is high-calibre recognition for his magazine work.
  • The acting of all concerned is of high calibre, the direction is excellent and the photography and sound reproduction are clear.
  • The gang's weapons are of military calibre and it has the loyalty of local residents.
  • He has put together a team which has impressed almost everyone with its calibre and its centrism.
  • They are too concentrated in their own bottom line and the result is that the end-product is of a low calibre.
British Dictionary definitions for calibre


the diameter of a cylindrical body, esp the internal diameter of a tube or the bore of a firearm
the diameter of a shell or bullet
ability; distinction: a musician of high calibre
personal character: a man of high calibre
Derived Forms
calibred, (US) calibered, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Old French, from Italian calibro, from Arabic qālib shoemaker's last, mould
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for calibre

chiefly British English spelling of caliber (q.v.); for spelling, see -re.



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
Cite This Source
calibre in Medicine

caliber cal·i·ber (kāl'ə-bər)
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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for caliber

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for calibre

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with calibre

Nearby words for calibre