Unit vs Size - What's the difference?

unit | size |

As a verb unit

is .

As a noun size is

subject, topic.





(en noun)
  • (sciences) A standard measure of a quantity.
  • The centimetre is a unit of length.
  • The number one.
  • This pill provides 500 units of Vitamin E.
  • An organized group comprising people and/or equipment.
  • He was a member of a special police unit .
  • (military, informal) A member of a military organization.
  • The fifth tank brigade moved in with 20 units .'' (''i.e., 20 tanks )
  • (US, military) Any military element whose structure is prescribed by competent authority, such as a table of organization and equipment; specifically, part of an organizationJoint Publication 1-02 U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms; 12 April 2001 (As Amended Through 14 April 2006). .
  • (US, military) An organization title of a subdivision of a group in a task force.
  • (US, military) A standard or basic quantity into which an item of supply is divided, issued or used. In this meaning, also called unit of issue.
  • (US, military) With regard to Reserve Components of the Armed Forces, denotes a Selected Reserve unit organized, equipped, and trained for mobilization to serve on active duty as a unit or to augment or be augmented by another unit. Headquarters and support functions without wartime missions are not considered units.
  • (algebra) An element of a ring having a multiplicative inverse. (Formerly just the identity element 1R of a ring.)
  • (geology) A volume of rock or ice of identifiable origin and age range that is defined by the distinctive and dominant, easily mapped and recognizable petrographic, lithologic or paleontologic features (facies) that characterize it.
  • (commerce) An item which may be sold singly.
  • We shipped nearly twice as many units this month as last month.
  • (UK, electricity) One kilowatt-hour (as recorded on an electricity meter).
  • (Australia, New Zealand) a measure of housing equivalent to the living quarters of one household, an apartment where a group of apartments is contained in one or more multi-storied buildings or a group of dwellings is in one or more single storey buildings, usually arranged around a driveway.
  • (historical) A gold coin of the reign of James I, worth twenty shillings.
  • (Camden)


    * (identity element) identity element, unit element


  • For each unit.
  • We have to keep our unit costs down if we want to make a profit.
  • (mathematics) Having a size or magnitude of one.
  • * 1990 , William W. S. Wei, Time Series Analysis , ISBN 0201159112, page 9:
  • Consider the following time sequence
  • *:: Z_t=A\sin(\omega t+\theta),
  • where A is a random variable with a zero mean and a unit variance and \theta is a random variable with a uniform distribution on the interval [-\pi,\pi] independent of A.

    Derived terms

    * construction unit * tractor unit * unit aircraft * unitality * unit cost * unit combat readiness * unit commitment status * unit designation list



    * 1000 English basic words ----



    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) ).


    (en noun)
  • (obsolete, outside, dialects) An assize.
  • * 1749 , Henry Fielding, Tom Jones , Folio Society 1973, page 560:
  • I know you would have women above the law, but it is all a lye; I heard his lordship say at size , that no one is above the law.
  • (obsolete) A regulation determining the amount of money paid in fees, taxes etc.
  • (obsolete) A fixed standard for the magnitude, quality, quantity etc. of goods, especially food and drink.
  • * Shakespeare
  • to scant my sizes
  • The dimensions or magnitude of a thing; how big something is.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-20, volume=408, issue=8845, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Welcome to the plastisphere , passage=[The researchers] noticed many of their pieces of [plastic marine] debris sported surface pits around two microns across. Such pits are about the size of a bacterial cell. Closer examination showed that some of these pits did, indeed, contain bacteria, […].}}
  • (obsolete) A regulation, piece of ordinance.
  • A specific set of dimensions for a manufactured article, especially clothing.
  • (graph theory) A number of edges in a graph.
  • (figurative, dated) Degree of rank, ability, character, etc.
  • * L'Estrange
  • men of a less size and quality
  • * Jonathan Swift
  • the middling or lower size of people
  • An instrument consisting of a number of perforated gauges fastened together at one end by a rivet, used for measuring the size of pearls.
  • (Knight)
    * See also


  • To adjust the size of; to make a certain size.
  • * Francis Bacon
  • a statute to size weights, and measures
  • To classify or arrange by size.
  • # (military) To take the height of men, in order to place them in the ranks according to their stature.
  • # (mining) To sift (pieces of ore or metal) in order to separate the finer from the coarser parts.
  • (colloquial) To approximate the dimensions, estimate the size of.
  • To take a greater size; to increase in size.
  • * John Donne
  • Our desires give them fashion, and so, / As they wax lesser, fall, as they size , grow.
  • (UK, Cambridge University, obsolete) To order food or drink from the buttery; hence, to enter a score, as upon the buttery book.
  • (obsolete) To swell; to increase the bulk of.
  • (Beaumont and Fletcher)

    Etymology 2

    Old Italian , a glue used by painters, shortened from (assisa), from (assiso), to make to sit, to seat, to place.


    (en noun)
  • A thin, weak glue used as primer for paper or canvas intended to be painted upon.
  • Wallpaper paste.
  • The thickened crust on coagulated blood.
  • Any viscous substance, such as gilder's varnish.
  • Verb

  • To apply glue or other primer to a surface which is to be painted.