1 distance from one end to the other
ADJ. entire, full, maximum, whole There is a maximum length of 2,500 words. The queue stretched the whole length of the High Street. | great a ditch of great length and width | medium | overall, total
VERB + LENGTH estimate, measure He measured the length and width of the table. | have The vehicle has an overall length of 12 feet. | grow to, reach These fish can reach a length of over two metres. | double in, increase in | cut sth to Measure the size of the window and cut the cloth to length. | drive, run, swim, travel, walk, etc. The fence runs the length of the footpath.
PREP. along the ~ of There were coloured lights along the whole length of the street. | in ~ The pipe was two metres in length.
PHRASES at arm's length He has to hold newspapers at arm's length to focus on the print. | double, twice, three times, half, etc. the length of sth The queen bee is twice the length of a worker bee.
2 amount of time that sth lasts
ADJ. considerable, great, inordinate | reasonable
VERB + LENGTH cut, reduce, shorten | increase
LENGTH + VERB increase | decrease
PREP. at ~ He told me at length about his new job. | in ~ Each lesson was an hour in length.
PHRASES length of time They complained about the inordinate length of time they had to wait.
3 length of a swimming pool
VERB + LENGTH do, swim I did 20 lengths today.