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2 definitions found
 for calibre
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Caliber \Cal"i*ber\, Calibre \Cal"ibre\, n. [F. calibre, perh.
     fr. L. qualibra of what pound, of what weight; hence, of what
     size, applied first to a ball or bullet; cf. also Ar.
     q[=a]lib model, mold. Cf. Calipers, Calivere.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. (Gunnery) The diameter of the bore, as a cannon or other
        firearm, or of any tube; or the weight or size of the
        projectile which a firearm will carry; as, an 8 inch gun,
        a 12-pounder, a 44 caliber.
        [1913 Webster]
              The caliber of empty tubes.           --Reid.
        [1913 Webster]
              A battery composed of three guns of small caliber.
        [1913 Webster]
     Note: The caliber of firearms is expressed in various ways.
           Cannon are often designated by the weight of a solid
           spherical shot that will fit the bore; as, a
           12-pounder; pieces of ordnance that project shell or
           hollow shot are designated by the diameter of their
           bore; as, a 12 inch mortar or a 14 inch shell gun;
           small arms are designated by hundredths of an inch
           expressed decimally; as, a rifle of .44 inch caliber.
           [1913 Webster]
     2. The diameter of round or cylindrical body, as of a bullet
        or column.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. Fig.: Capacity or compass of mind. --Burke.
        [1913 Webster]
     Caliber compasses. See Calipers.
     Caliber rule, a gunner's calipers, an instrument having two
        scales arranged to determine a ball's weight from its
        diameter, and conversely.
     A ship's caliber, the weight of her armament.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a degree or grade of excellence or worth; "the quality of
           students has risen"; "an executive of low caliber" [syn:
           quality, caliber, calibre]
      2: diameter of a tube or gun barrel [syn: bore, gauge,
         caliber, calibre]

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