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Monday, January 30, 2006

Word for the week: dimension

Main Entry: 1di·men·sion
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin dimension-, dimensio, from dimetiri to measure out, from dis- + metiri to measure -- more at MEASURE
1 a (1) : measure in one direction; specifically : one of three coordinates determining a position in space or four coordinates determining a position in space and time (2) : one of a group of properties whose number is necessary and sufficient to determine uniquely each element of a system of usually mathematical entities (as an aggregate of points in real or abstract space) ; also : a parameter or coordinate variable assigned to such a property (3) : the number of elements in a basis of a vector space b : the quality of spatial extension : MAGNITUDE, SIZE c : a lifelike or realistic quality d : the range over which or the degree to which something extends : SCOPE -- usually used in plural e : one of the elements or factors making up a complete personality or entity : ASPECT2 obsolete : bodily form or proportions3 : any of the fundamental units (as of mass, length, or time) on which a derived unit is based; also : the power of such a unit4 : wood or stone cut to pieces of specified size5 : a level of existence or consciousness

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