The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Gauge \Gauge\, n. [Written also gage.]
1. A measure; a standard of measure; an instrument to
determine dimensions, distance, or capacity; a standard.
This plate must be a gauge to file your worm and
groove to equal breadth by. --Moxon.
There is not in our hands any fixed gauge of minds.
2. Measure; dimensions; estimate.
The gauge and dimensions of misery, depression, and
3. (Mach. & Manuf.) Any instrument for ascertaining or
regulating the dimensions or forms of things; a templet or
template; as, a button maker's gauge.
4. (Physics) Any instrument or apparatus for measuring the
state of a phenomenon, or for ascertaining its numerical
elements at any moment; -- usually applied to some
particular instrument; as, a rain gauge; a steam gauge.
(a) Relative positions of two or more vessels with
reference to the wind; as, a vessel has the weather
gauge of another when on the windward side of it, and
the lee gauge when on the lee side of it.
(b) The depth to which a vessel sinks in the water.
6. The distance between the rails of a railway.
Note: The standard gauge of railroads in most countries is
four feet, eight and one half inches. Wide, or broad,
gauge, in the United States, is six feet; in England,
seven feet, and generally any gauge exceeding standard
gauge. Any gauge less than standard gauge is now called
narrow gauge. It varies from two feet to three feet six
7. (Plastering) The quantity of plaster of Paris used with
common plaster to accelerate its setting.
8. (Building) That part of a shingle, slate, or tile, which
is exposed to the weather, when laid; also, one course of
such shingles, slates, or tiles.
Gauge of a carriage, car, etc., the distance between the
wheels; -- ordinarily called the track.
Gauge cock, a stop cock used as a try cock for ascertaining
the height of the water level in a steam boiler.
Gauge concussion (Railroads), the jar caused by a car-wheel
flange striking the edge of the rail.
Gauge glass, a glass tube for a water gauge.
Gauge lathe, an automatic lathe for turning a round object
having an irregular profile, as a baluster or chair round,
to a templet or gauge.
Gauge point, the diameter of a cylinder whose altitude is
one inch, and contents equal to that of a unit of a given
measure; -- a term used in gauging casks, etc.
Gauge rod, a graduated rod, for measuring the capacity of
barrels, casks, etc.
Gauge saw, a handsaw, with a gauge to regulate the depth of
Gauge stuff, a stiff and compact plaster, used in making
cornices, moldings, etc., by means of a templet.
Gauge wheel, a wheel at the forward end of a plow beam, to
determine the depth of the furrow.
Joiner's gauge, an instrument used to strike a line
parallel to the straight side of a board, etc.
Printer's gauge, an instrument to regulate the length of
Rain gauge, an instrument for measuring the quantity of
rain at any given place.
Salt gauge, or Brine gauge, an instrument or contrivance
for indicating the degree of saltness of water from its
specific gravity, as in the boilers of ocean steamers.
Sea gauge, an instrument for finding the depth of the sea.
Siphon gauge, a glass siphon tube, partly filled with
mercury, -- used to indicate pressure, as of steam, or the
degree of rarefaction produced in the receiver of an air
pump or other vacuum; a manometer.
Sliding gauge. (Mach.)
(a) A templet or pattern for gauging the commonly accepted
dimensions or shape of certain parts in general use,
as screws, railway-car axles, etc.
(b) A gauge used only for testing other similar gauges,
and preserved as a reference, to detect wear of the
(c) (Railroads) See Note under Gauge, n., 5.
Star gauge (Ordnance), an instrument for measuring the
diameter of the bore of a cannon at any point of its
Steam gauge, an instrument for measuring the pressure of
steam, as in a boiler.
Tide gauge, an instrument for determining the height of the
Vacuum gauge, a species of barometer for determining the
relative elasticities of the vapor in the condenser of a
steam engine and the air.
(a) A contrivance for indicating the height of a water
surface, as in a steam boiler; as by a gauge cock or
(b) The height of the water in the boiler.
Wind gauge, an instrument for measuring the force of the
wind on any given surface; an anemometer.
Wire gauge, a gauge for determining the diameter of wire or
the thickness of sheet metal; also, a standard of size.
See under Wire.