wire gauge

From 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.
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            This plate must be a gauge to file your worm and
            groove to equal breadth by.           --Moxon.
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            There is not in our hands any fixed gauge of minds.
                                                  --I. Taylor.
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   2. Measure; dimensions; estimate.
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            The gauge and dimensions of misery, depression, and
            contempt.                             --Burke.
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   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.
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   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.
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   5. (Naut.)
      (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.
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   6. The distance between the rails of a railway.
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   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
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   7. (Plastering) The quantity of plaster of Paris used with
      common plaster to accelerate its setting.
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   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.
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   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
      cut. --Knight.

   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
      the page.

   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
          working gauges.
      (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.

   Water gauge.
      (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.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Wire \Wire\ (w[imac]r), n. [OE. wir, AS. wir; akin to Icel.
   v[imac]rr, Dan. vire, LG. wir, wire; cf. OHG. wiara fine
   gold; perhaps akin to E. withy. [root]141.]
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   1. A thread or slender rod of metal; a metallic substance
      formed to an even thread by being passed between grooved
      rollers, or drawn through holes in a plate of steel.
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   Note: Wire is made of any desired form, as round, square,
         triangular, etc., by giving this shape to the hole in
         the drawplate, or between the rollers.
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   2. A telegraph wire or cable; hence, an electric telegraph;
      as, to send a message by wire. [Colloq.]
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   3. Chiefly in pl. The system of wires used to operate the
      puppets in a puppet show; hence (Chiefly Political Slang),
      the network of hidden influences controlling the action of
      a person or organization; as, to pull the wires for
      office; -- in this sense, synonymous with strings.
      [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]

   4. One who picks women's pockets. [Thieves' Slang]
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   5. A knitting needle. [Scot.]
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   6. A wire stretching across over a race track at the judges'
      stand, to mark the line at which the races end. [Racing
      [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

   Wire bed, Wire mattress, an elastic bed bottom or
      mattress made of wires interwoven or looped together in
      various ways.

   Wire bridge, a bridge suspended from wires, or cables made
      of wire.

   Wire cartridge, a shot cartridge having the shot inclosed
      in a wire cage.

   Wire cloth, a coarse cloth made of woven metallic wire, --
      used for strainers, and for various other purposes.

   Wire edge, the thin, wirelike thread of metal sometimes
      formed on the edge of a tool by the stone in sharpening

   Wire fence, a fence consisting of posts with strained
      horizontal wires, wire netting, or other wirework,

   Wire gauge or Wire gage.
      (a) A gauge for measuring the diameter of wire, thickness
          of sheet metal, etc., often consisting of a metal
          plate with a series of notches of various widths in
          its edge.
      (b) A standard series of sizes arbitrarily indicated, as
          by numbers, to which the diameter of wire or the
          thickness of sheet metal in usually made, and which is
          used in describing the size or thickness. There are
          many different standards for wire gauges, as in
          different countries, or for different kinds of metal,
          the Birmingham wire gauges and the American wire gauge
          being often used and designated by the abbreviations
          B. W. G. and A. W. G. respectively.

   Wire gauze, a texture of finely interwoven wire, resembling

   Wire grass (Bot.), either of the two common grasses
      Eleusine Indica, valuable for hay and pasture, and {Poa
      compressa}, or blue grass. See Blue grass.

   Wire grub (Zool.), a wireworm.

   Wire iron, wire rods of iron.

   Wire lathing, wire cloth or wire netting applied in the
      place of wooden lathing for holding plastering.

   Wire mattress. See Wire bed, above.

   Wire micrometer, a micrometer having spider lines, or fine
      wires, across the field of the instrument.

   Wire nail, a nail formed of a piece of wire which is headed
      and pointed.

   Wire netting, a texture of woven wire coarser than ordinary
      wire gauze.

   Wire rod, a metal rod from which wire is formed by drawing.

   Wire rope, a rope formed wholly, or in great part, of

   down to the wire, up to the last moment, as in a race or
      competition; as, the two front runners were neck-and-neck
      down to the wire. From wire[6].

   under the wire, just in time; shortly before the deadline;
      as, to file an application just under the wire.
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