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Gauge \Gauge\, n. [Written also gage.] 1. A measure; a standard of measure; an instrument to determine dimensions, distance, or capacity; a standard. [1913 Webster] This plate must be a gauge to file your worm and groove to equal breadth by. --Moxon. [1913 Webster] There is not in our hands any fixed gauge of minds. --I. Taylor. [1913 Webster] 2. Measure; dimensions; estimate. [1913 Webster] The gauge and dimensions of misery, depression, and contempt. --Burke. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] 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. --Totten. [1913 Webster] 6. The distance between the rails of a railway. [1913 Webster] 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 inches. [1913 Webster] 7. (Plastering) The quantity of plaster of Paris used with common plaster to accelerate its setting. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] {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 length. {Steam gauge}, an instrument for measuring the pressure of steam, as in a boiler. {Tide gauge}, an instrument for determining the height of the tides. {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 glass. (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}. [1913 Webster]