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early 14c., "two-handled vessel for holding wine, oil, etc.," from Latin amphora from Greek amphoreus "an amphora, jar, urn," contraction of amphiphoreus, literally "two-handled," from amphi- "on both sides" (see amphi-) + phoreus "bearer," related to pherein "to bear" (see infer). Also a liquid measure in the ancient world, in Greece equal to 9 gallons, in Rome to 6 gallons, 7 pints.
ancient Roman unit of capacity for grain and liquid products equal to 48 sextarii and equivalent to about 27.84 litres (7.36 U.S. gallons). The term amphora was borrowed from the Greeks, who used it to designate a measure equal to about 34 litres (9 U.S. gallons).