# Size vs. Dimension — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on November 2, 2023
Size refers to the magnitude or extent of something, often measured in units, whereas dimension denotes a measurable extent of a particular kind, such as length, width, or height.

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## Key Differences

Size is a general term that refers to how big or small something is, often quantifiable by units of measurement like meters or kilograms. Dimensions are specific to the proportions and measurable extents that define the shape and scale of an object, such as length, width, and height.
While size is a scalar quantity giving a sense of scale or amount, dimensions are often given in a series of numbers, which, taken together, define the space an object occupies. Size is a single or multi-dimensional attribute, but dimensions are always multi-faceted and directional.
For instance, the size of a room might be described as small, medium, or large, which is a subjective measure. The dimensions of the same room would be expressed in terms of its length, width, and height in units like feet or meters, providing an objective measure.
When buying clothing, size might be indicated by a number or letter, and it refers to the overall fit. In contrast, the dimensions of a piece of fabric used to make the clothing would include specific measurements such as the length and width of the material.
Understanding the size of an object often requires knowing its dimensions, but dimensions alone do not describe the size. Size can imply overall space occupancy or capacity, while dimensions provide the detailed measurements of each aspect of an object's shape.
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## Comparison Chart

### Definition

General measurement of overall extent
Specific measurements defining shape and space

### Nature

Scalar, can be subjective
Vectorial, always objective

### Units

Units of length, area, volume, weight, etc.
Units of length, width, height, etc.

### Usage

Used to describe overall capacity
Used to describe specific extents

### Example

"Large" size shirt
"15x30" dimensions of a rectangle

## Compare with Definitions

#### Size

A dimension taken as a unit of measure.
She prefers a size 8 in shoes.

#### Dimension

A measurable extent of some kind, such as length, width, or height.
The dimensions of the table are 5 feet by 3 feet.

#### Size

The extent of area or volume something occupies.
The size of the new apartment is quite spacious.

#### Dimension

A mode of linear measurement.
He calculated the dimension of the room to determine the carpet area.

#### Size

The relative extent of something; a thing's overall dimensions.
The size of the crowd was overwhelming.

#### Dimension

A direction or aspect constituting a measurable extent.
The third dimension in 3D movies is depth.

#### Size

A particular or preferred extent of something described by specific measurements.
The coffee comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large.

#### Dimension

One of the coordinates determining a position in space or space-time.
In physics, time is often referred to as the fourth dimension.

#### Size

Size in general is the magnitude or dimensions of a thing. More specifically, geometrical size (or spatial size) can refer to linear dimensions (length, width, height, diameter, perimeter), area, or volume.

#### Dimension

In physics and mathematics, the dimension of a mathematical space (or object) is informally defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify any point within it. Thus a line has a dimension of one (1D) because only one coordinate is needed to specify a point on it – for example, the point at 5 on a number line.

#### Size

The relative extent of something; a thing's overall dimensions or magnitude; how big something is
A forest the size of Wales
Firms of all sizes
The schools varied in size

#### Dimension

A measurable extent of a particular kind, such as length, breadth, depth, or height
The drawing must be precise in dimension
The final dimensions of the pond were 14 ft x 8 ft

#### Size

Each of the classes, typically numbered, into which garments or other articles are divided according to how large they are
I can never find anything in my size

#### Dimension

An aspect or feature of a situation
We must focus on the cultural dimensions of the problem

#### Size

A gelatinous solution used in glazing paper, stiffening textiles, and preparing plastered walls for decoration.

#### Dimension

Cut or shape (something) to particular measurements.

#### Size

Alter or sort in terms of size or according to size
Twist drills are sized in millimetres

#### Dimension

A measure of spatial extent, especially width, height, or length.

#### Size

Estimate or measure something's dimensions
She was trying to size up a room with a tape measure

#### Dimension

Often dimensions Extent or magnitude; scope
A problem of alarming dimensions.

#### Size

Treat with size to glaze or stiffen
Paper will adhere to sized walls better

#### Dimension

Aspect; element
"He's a good newsman, and he has that extra dimension" (William S. Paley).

#### Size

Having a specified size; sized
Marble-size chunks of hail

#### Dimension

The least number of independent coordinates required to specify uniquely the points in a space.

#### Size

The physical dimensions, proportions, magnitude, or extent of an object.

#### Dimension

The range of such a coordinate.

#### Size

Any of a series of graduated categories of dimension whereby manufactured articles, such as shoes and clothing, are classified.

#### Dimension

(Physics) A physical property, such as mass, distance, time, or a combination thereof, regarded as a fundamental measure of a physical quantity
Velocity has the dimension of distance divided by time.

#### Size

Considerable extent, amount, or dimensions
A debt of enormous size.

#### Dimension

A realm of existence, as in a work of fiction, that is physically separate from another such realm
"Although it tells a grounded, political story free from aliens and alternate dimensions, the film remains packed to the brim with iconic ... characters." (Conner Schwerdtfeger).

#### Size

Relative amount or number, as of population or contents
What size is Cleveland?.

#### Dimension

To cut or shape to specified dimensions.

#### Size

Character, value, or status with reference to relative importance or the capacity to meet given requirements
Try this proposal on for size.

#### Dimension

To mark with specified dimensions.

#### Size

The actual state of affairs
That's about the size of the situation.

#### Dimension

A single aspect of a given thing.
This film can be enjoyed on many dimensions - the script is great, the acting is realistic, and the special effects will simply take you aback.

#### Size

Any of several gelatinous or glutinous substances usually made from glue, wax, or clay and used as a glaze or filler for porous materials such as paper, cloth, or wall surfaces.

#### Dimension

A measure of spatial extent in a particular direction, such as height, width or breadth, or depth.

#### Size

To arrange, classify, or distribute according to size.

#### Dimension

A construct whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished.

#### Size

To make, cut, or shape to a required size.

#### Dimension

(geometry) The number of independent coordinates needed to specify uniquely the location of a point in a space; also, any of such independent coordinates.

#### Size

To treat or coat with size or a similar substance.

#### Dimension

(linear algebra) The number of elements of any basis of a vector space.

#### Size

Sized. Often used in combination
Bite-size appetizers.
An economy-size package.

#### Dimension

(physics) One of the physical properties that are regarded as fundamental measures of a physical quantity, such as mass, length and time.
The dimension of velocity is length divided by time.

An assize.

#### Dimension

(computing) Any of the independent ranges of indices in a multidimensional array.

#### Size

(obsolete) A regulation determining the amount of money paid in fees, taxes etc.

#### Dimension

A universe or plane of existence.
A machine that lets you travel to a parallel dimension.

#### Size

(obsolete) A fixed standard for the magnitude, quality, quantity etc. of goods, especially food and drink.

#### Dimension

(transitive) To mark, cut or shape something to specified dimensions.

#### Size

The dimensions or magnitude of a thing; how big something is.
The size of the building seemed to have increased since I was last there.

#### Dimension

To specify the size of (an array or similar data structure); to allocate.

#### Size

(obsolete) A regulation, piece of ordinance.

#### Dimension

In 24 Hours|page=268

#### Size

A specific set of dimensions for a manufactured article, especially clothing.
I don't think we have the red one in your size.

#### Dimension

Measure in a single line, as length, breadth, height, thickness, or circumference; extension; measurement; - usually, in the plural, measure in length and breadth, or in length, breadth, and thickness; extent; size; as, the dimensions of a room, or of a ship; the dimensions of a farm, of a kingdom.
Gentlemen of more than ordinary dimensions.

#### Size

(graph theory) A number of edges in a graph.

#### Dimension

Extent; reach; scope; importance; as, a project of large dimensions.

#### Size

Degree of rank, ability, character, etc.

#### Dimension

The degree of manifoldness of a quantity; as, time is quantity having one dimension; volume has three dimensions, relative to extension.

#### Size

An instrument consisting of a number of perforated gauges fastened together at one end by a rivet, used for measuring the size of pearls

#### Dimension

A literal factor, as numbered in characterizing a term. The term dimensions forms with the cardinal numbers a phrase equivalent to degree with the ordinal; thus, a2b2c is a term of five dimensions, or of the fifth degree.

#### Size

A thin, weak glue used as primer for paper or canvas intended to be painted upon.

#### Dimension

The manifoldness with which the fundamental units of time, length, and mass are involved in determining the units of other physical quantities.

Wallpaper paste.

#### Dimension

The magnitude of something in a particular direction (especially length or width or height)

#### Size

The thickened crust on coagulated blood.

#### Dimension

A construct whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished;
Self-confidence is not an endearing property

#### Size

Any viscous substance, such as gilder's varnish.

#### Dimension

One of three cartesian coordinates that determine a position in space

#### Size

(transitive) To adjust the size of; to make a certain size.

#### Dimension

Magnitude or extent;
A building of vast proportions

#### Size

(transitive) To classify or arrange by size.

#### Dimension

Indicate the dimensions on;
These techniques permit us to dimension the human heart

#### Size

(military) To take the height of men, in order to place them in the ranks according to their stature.

#### Dimension

Shape or form to required dimensions

#### Size

(mining) To sift (pieces of ore or metal) in order to separate the finer from the coarser parts.

#### Dimension

An aspect or feature of a situation, problem, or thing.
She considered the ethical dimensions of the decision.

#### Size

To approximate the dimensions, estimate the size of.

#### Size

(intransitive) To take a greater size; to increase in size.

#### Size

To order food or drink from the buttery; hence, to enter a score, as upon the buttery book.

#### Size

To swell; to increase the bulk of.

#### Size

(transitive) To apply glue or other primer to a surface which is to be painted.

Six.

#### Size

A thin, weak glue used in various trades, as in painting, bookbinding, paper making, etc.

#### Size

Any viscous substance, as gilder's varnish.

#### Size

A settled quantity or allowance. See Assize.

#### Size

An allowance of food and drink from the buttery, aside from the regular dinner at commons; - corresponding to battel at Oxford.

#### Size

Extent of superficies or volume; bulk; bigness; magnitude; as, the size of a tree or of a mast; the size of a ship or of a rock.

#### Size

Figurative bulk; condition as to rank, ability, character, etc.; as, the office demands a man of larger size.
Men of a less size and quality.
The middling or lower size of people.

#### Size

A conventional relative measure of dimension, as for shoes, gloves, and other articles made up for sale.

#### Size

An instrument consisting of a number of perforated gauges fastened together at one end by a rivet, - used for ascertaining the size of pearls.

#### Size

To cover with size; to prepare with size.

#### Size

To fix the standard of.

#### Size

To adjust or arrange according to size or bulk.

#### Size

To swell; to increase the bulk of.

#### Size

To bring or adjust anything exactly to a required dimension, as by cutting.
We had to size up our fellow legislators.

#### Size

To take greater size; to increase in size.
Our desires give them fashion, and so,As they wax lesser, fall, as they size, grow.

#### Size

To order food or drink from the buttery; hence, to enter a score, as upon the buttery book.

#### Size

The physical magnitude of something (how big it is);
A wolf is about the size of a large dog

#### Size

The property resulting from being one of a series of graduated measurements (as of clothing);
He wears a size 13 shoe

#### Size

Any glutinous material used to fill pores in surfaces or to stiffen fabrics;
Size gives body to a fabric

#### Size

The actual state of affairs;
That's the size of the situation
She hates me, that's about the size of it

#### Size

A large magnitude;
He blanched when he saw the size of the bill
The only city of any size in that area

#### Size

Cover or stiffen or glaze a porous material with size or sizing (a glutinous substance)

#### Size

Sort according to size

#### Size

Make to a size; bring to a suitable size

#### Size

(used in combination) sized;
The economy-size package
Average-size house

#### Size

The overall magnitude of an object or entity.
The size of the elephant amazed the zoo visitors.

## Common Curiosities

#### Does the size of an object change with its dimensions?

Changing dimensions will typically change the object's size.

#### Can size be used without specific units?

Yes, size can be used qualitatively without specific units.

#### Is size the same as volume?

Size can refer to volume but is a more general term and can refer to other measures.

#### Do size and dimension mean the same in all contexts?

No, their meaning can differ based on context; size is more general, dimensions are specific.

#### Can dimensions indicate the shape of an object?

Yes, dimensions can give insights into the shape by providing specific extents.

#### Are dimensions important in shipping?

Yes, exact dimensions are critical for shipping to determine space and cost.

#### Can we use dimensions to calculate size?

Yes, dimensions can be used to calculate the size, like area or volume.

#### Are dimensions always given in specific units?

Yes, dimensions are typically specific and given in units like inches or centimeters.

#### Do two objects with the same size have the same dimensions?

Not necessarily, as objects can have the same size but different shapes and dimensions.

#### Is size or dimension more important for fitting clothes?

Size is typically more important for the overall fit, but dimensions matter for specific fits.

#### Do dimensions have an order?

Yes, especially in mathematics and physics, the order of dimensions is significant (e.g., width x height x depth).

#### Is size a vector quantity?

No, size is a scalar quantity.

#### Are dimensions always in three parts?

Not always; dimensions can be in one, two, or more parts depending on the object.

#### Can size refer to the population?

Yes, size can refer to the number of individuals in a population.

#### How does one convert size to dimensions?

You cannot directly convert size to dimensions, but you can measure dimensions to describe size.

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## Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.