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1 [sahyz]
the spatial dimensions, proportions, magnitude, or bulk of anything: the size of a farm; the size of the fish you caught.
considerable or great magnitude: to seek size rather than quality.
one of a series of graduated measures for articles of manufacture or trade: children's sizes of shoes.
extent; amount; range: a fortune of great size.
actual condition, circumstance, or state of affairs: That's about the size of it.
a number of population or contents: What size is Springfield, Illinois? The size of that last shipment was only a dozen.
Obsolete. a fixed standard of quality or quantity, as for food or drink.
verb (used with object), sized, sizing.
to separate or sort according to size.
to make of a certain size.
Metallurgy. to press (a sintered compact) to close tolerances.
Obsolete. to regulate or control according to a fixed standard.
Verb phrases
size up, Informal.
to form an estimate of (a situation, person, etc.); judge: They sized him up with a look.
to meet a certain standard: He doesn't size up to my expectations.
of a size, of the same or similar size: The two poodles are of a size.
try on for size,
to put on briefly in order to test the fit of, as a garment or shoes.
to consider, evaluate, do, or use before taking further action: We'll try the plan on for size to see whether it's practical.

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English syse orig., control, regulation, limit < Old French sise, aphetic variant of assise assize; (v.) in part representing late Middle English sisen to regulate (itself partly derivative of the noun, partly aphetic variant of assisen to fix, ordain, assess < Old French assiser, derivative of assise assize), in part derivative of the noun in later senses

1. Size, volume, mass, bulk are terms referring to the extent or dimensions of that which has magnitude and occupies space. Size is the general word: of great size; small in size. Volume often applies to something that has no fixed shape: Smoke has volume. Mass, also, does not suggest shape, but suggests a quantity of matter in a solid body: a mass of concrete. Bulk suggests weight, and often a recognizable, though perhaps unwieldy, shape: the huge bulk of an elephant.


2 [sahyz]
any of various gelatinous or glutinous preparations made from glue, starch, etc., used for filling the pores of cloth, paper, etc., or as an adhesive ground for gold leaf on books.
verb (used with object), sized, sizing.
to coat or treat with size.

1400–50; late Middle English sise, syse (noun); perhaps special use of size1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
size1 (saɪz)
1.  the dimensions, proportions, amount, or extent of something
2.  large or great dimensions, etc
3.  one of a series of graduated measurements, as of clothing: she takes size 4 shoes
4.  informal state of affairs as summarized: he's bankrupt, that's the size of it
5.  to sort according to size
6.  (tr) to make or cut to a particular size or sizes
[C13: from Old French sise, shortened from assiseassize]
usage  The use of -size and -sized after large or small is redundant, except when describing something which is made in specific sizes: a large (not large-size) organization. Similarly, in size is redundant in the expressions large in size and small in size

size2 (saɪz)
1.  Also called: sizing a thin gelatinous mixture, made from glue, clay, or wax, that is used as a sealer or filler on paper, cloth, or plaster surfaces
2.  (tr) to treat or coat (a surface) with size
[C15: perhaps from Old French sise; see size1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "an ordinance to fix the amount of a payment or tax," from O.Fr. sise, shortened form of assise "session, assessment, regulation, manner" (see assize), probably a misdivision of l'assise as la sise. The sense of "extent, amount, magnitude" (c.1400) is from the notion
of regulating something by fixing the amount of it (weights, food portions, etc.). Specific sense of "set of dimensions of an article of clothing or shoe" is attested from 1591. Sizeable "fairly large" is recorded from 1613.

c.1400, "to regulate," from size (n.). Meaning "to make of a certain size" is from 1609; that of "to classify according to size" is first attested 1635. Verbal phrase size up "estimate, assess" is from 1847 and retains the root sense of size (n.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


coating with a gelatinous or other substance to add strength or stiffness or to reduce absorbency. In the visual arts, a canvas or panel is prepared for painting by applying size, a dilute mixture of glue or a resinous substance. In oil painting it is essential that the canvas be coated with size so that its absorbency is reduced and contact with the paint, which would lead ultimately to the decay of the canvas fibre, is avoided. Hide glue is most frequently used to treat canvas, having largely replaced parchment size, which was recommended by the 14th-century Italian artist and writer Cennino Cennini.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The two have a folkloric meeting by a campfire, each sizing the other up with
  profound glances and a minimum of small talk.
He was eyeballing the siding of my house, sizing it up for a vicious pecking.
They lined up side by side, hooked jaws thrust out of the water, sizing each
  other up.
They may need additional sizing and surface finishing, but they are nearly as
  strong as metal billet materials.
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