I recently came throughout the meaning for length - Merriam-Webster defines it as

the longer or longest dimension of an object

(other dictionary have similar definitions).

You are watching: What is the longest dimension of an object

This is not just how I think I usage it, and also I"m wonder if I"m in the minority. To me, "length" describes the an ext natural dimension and also "width" to the less organic dimension. If the object has actually a natural up orientation, that dimension is typically "height" and the others room "length" and "width".

For example, a squat cylinder, if not placed level on the ground, would be brief (its length would it is in small) and broad (its width would certainly be great). Also, a chair with massive armrests but only seating space for one person could not be long yet it can be very wide.

Is this an interpretation of length wrong or incomplete or am I using "length" in an inexplicable manner? Obviously, ns don"t expect Merriam-Webster to adjust the definition - it should be both correct and also simple, and my an interpretation might be complex.


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Yes, you have a point. I keep in mind that the definition provided in the Cambridge altoalsimce.org online dictionary is similar.

the measurement of other from end to end or follow me its longest side:

It is complicated to provide an ideal definition that covers every circumstances. In geometry, because that example, in its purest form, length is a property of a heat - any kind of line. So we can explain lines in terms their 2 ends. For this reason a rectangle, ABCD can be explained as having actually parallel lines, ab and CD, of same length and parallel lines, advertisement and BC of same length and at right angles to abdominal muscle and CD. Over there is no need for a reference to width.

In the instance of that triangles, all 3 lines have actually a "length", as do the political parties of any kind of other polygon.

However, as soon as it pertains to area friend will often encounter length through breadth/width. And volume is regularly referred to as length time breadth times height. Height is referred to in triangles, once the area is calculated as length times upright height.

I think the Merriam and also Cambridge idea of length of a two-dimensional object together the longer or longest sides. But essentially what us are came to with, not mentioned in the dictionaries I have checked, is orientation, though I have actually not discovered that indigenous used

And this appears to be the allude you are making, in speaking of really wide armchair. Us (most of us) execute think that that as wide fairly than long. In the end, it comes under to how we "stand" come the thing described. And also the language provided varies considerably. For example, for furniture, as soon as speaking the cabinetry, specifications have tendency to speak the width, depth (front to back) and height. We challenge them; lock are against a wall, so the there is a sense of width fairly than breadth or length.

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Nevertheless, over there is some fact in saying the of, say, a table, the length is (are) its longer side(s) and also the width/breadth is (are) the shorter.