2 entries found for ounce
To select an entry, click on it.
Main Entry: ounce
Etymology: Middle English unce, ounce
"ounce," from early French unce
(same meaning), from Latin uncia
"a twelfth part, ounce," from unus
"one" --related to INCH
1 a :
a unit of weight equal to 1/12 troy pound (about 31 grams) -- see MEASURE
table b :
a unit of weight equal to 1/16 avoirdupois pound (about 28 grams) c :
a small amount <an ounce
of common sense>2 : FLUID OUNCEWord History
The Latin word uncia
was used to mean "a twelfth part of something." In reference to length, it meant one-twelfth of a pes
"foot." In reference to weight, it meant one-twelfth of a libra
as a unit of length, came into Old English as ince
which became our inch. Uncia,
as a unit of weight, came into Middle English from the early French word unce
and became our ounce.
In the present system of weights used in this country, the pound is divided into sixteen parts instead of twelve. The result is that the ounce, which originally meant one-twelfth, is now equal to one-sixteenth of a pound.
Browse words next to "ounce