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  • IPA(key): /aʊns/
  • Rhymes: -aʊns
  • (file)

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English ounce, unce, from Middle French once, from Latin uncia (twelfth part), from ūnus (one). Doublet of inch.


ounce (plural ounces) abbreviation oz. or

  1. An avoirdupois ounce, weighing 116 of an avoirdupois pound, or 28.3495 grams.
  2. A troy ounce, weighing 112 of a troy pound, or 480 grains, or 31.1035 grams.
  3. A US fluid ounce, with a volume of 116 of a US pint, 1.8047 cubic inches or 29.5735 millilitres.
  4. A British imperial fluid ounce, with a volume of 120 of an imperial pint, 1.7339 cubic inches or 28.4131 millilitres.
  5. A little bit.
    He didn't feel even an ounce of regret for his actions.
  • Tokelauan: aunehe
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle French once, from Old French lonce (lynx), by false division (the l was thought to be the article), from Italian lonza, ultimately from Ancient Greek λύγξ (lúnx, lynx). Doublet of onza.


ounce (plural ounces)

  1. (now archaic) A large wild feline, such as a lynx or cougar. [from 14th c.]
    • 1634, William Wood, New Englands Prospect:
      The Ounce or the wilde Cat, is as big as a mungrell dog, this creature is by nature feirce, and more dangerous to bee met withall than any other creature, not fearing eyther dogge or man […].
    • 1801, Robert Southey, Thalaba the Destroyer:
      Halloa! another prey,
      The nimble Antelope!
      The ounce is freed; one spring,
      And his talons are sheath’d in her shoulders,
      And his teeth are red in her gore.
  2. Now specifically, the snow leopard, Uncia uncia. [from 18th c.]



Middle EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit


From Middle French once, from Old French once, unce, from Latin uncia. Doublet of ynche.


  • IPA(key): /ˈuːns(ə)/, /ˈuns(ə)/


ounce (plural ounces or ounce)

  1. An ounce (unit with much variation, but generally equivalent to 1/12 or 1/16 of a pound)
  2. (rare) A shekel (ancient measure of weight)
  3. (rare) A minuscule or insignificant amount or quantity.
    • a. 1394, Geoffrey Chaucer, “General Prologue”, in The Canterbury Tales[1], lines 677-678:
      By ounces henge his lokkes that he hadde / And therwith he his shuldres overspradde
      By very little hung the locks that he had; / He draped them over his shoulders
  4. (rare) An eight-minute unit for measuring time.
  5. (rare) A three-inch unit for measuring length.