GAUGE

Gauge

The gauge of a firearm is a unit of measurement used to express the diameter of the barrel. Gauge is determined from the weight of a solid sphere of lead that will fit the bore of the firearm, and is expressed as the multiplicative inverse of the sphere's weight as a fraction of a pound . Thus there are twelve 12-gauge balls per pound . The term is related to the measurement of cannon, which were also measured by the weight of their iron round shot; an 8 pounder would fire an spherical cast iron ball and had a bore diameter of about .

The above text is a snippet from Wikipedia: Gauge (bore diameter)
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gauge

Noun

1. A measure; a standard of measure; an instrument to determine dimensions, distance, or capacity; a standard
2. An act of measuring.
3. Any instrument for ascertaining or regulating the level, state, dimensions or forms of things; as, a rain gauge; a steam gauge.
4. A thickness of sheet metal or wire designated by any of several numbering schemes.
5. The distance between the rails of a railway.
6. A semi-norm; a function that assigns a non-negative size to all vectors in a vector space.
7. The number of stitches per inch, centimetre, or other unit of distance.

Verb

1. To measure or determine with a gauge; to measure the capacity of.
2. To estimate.
3. To appraise the character or ability of; to judge of.
4. To draw into equidistant gathers by running a thread through it.

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: gauge
and as such is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.