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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ There are 27.34 grains in one dram, 16 drams to one ounce and 16 ounces to one avoirdupois pound.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Avoirdupois \Av`oir*du*pois"\ ([a^]v`[~e]r*d[-u]*poiz"), n. & a. [OE. aver de peis, goods of weight, where peis is fr. OF. peis weight, F. poids, L. pensum. See Aver, n., and Poise, n.]

  1. Goods sold by weight. [Obs.]

  2. Avoirdupois weight.

  3. Weight; heaviness; as, a woman of much avoirdupois.

    Avoirdupois weight, a system of weights by which coarser commodities are weighed, such as hay, grain, butter, sugar, tea.

    Note: The standard Avoirdupois pound of the United States is equivalent to the weight of 27.7015 cubic inches of distilled water at 62[deg] Fahrenheit, the barometer being at 30 inches, and the water weighed in the air with brass weights. In this system of weights 16 drams make 1 ounce, 16 ounces 1 pound, 25 pounds 1 quarter, 4 quarters 1 hundred weight, and 20 hundred weight 1 ton. The above pound contains 7,000 grains, or 453.54 grams, so that 1 pound avoirdupois is equivalent to 1 31-144 pounds troy. (See Troy weight.) Formerly, a hundred weight was reckoned at 112 pounds, the ton being 2,240 pounds (sometimes called a long ton).

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1650s, misspelling of Middle English avoir-de-peise (c.1300), from Old French avoir de pois "goods of weight," from aveir "property, goods" (noun use of aveir "have") + peis "weight," from Latin pensum, neuter of pendere "to weigh" (see pendant (n.)). After late 15c., the standard system of weights used in England for all goods except precious metals, precious stones, and medicine.


n. 1 The official system of weights used in UK between 1856 and 1963. It had been the customary system in London since 1300 (C.E.). 2 The official system of weights used in USA between 1866 and 1959. 3 weight; heaviness.

  1. n. a system of weights based on the 16-ounce pound (or 7,000 grains) [syn: avoirdupois weight]

  2. excess bodily weight; "she found fatness disgusting in herself as well as in others" [syn: fatness, fat, blubber] [ant: leanness]


The avoirdupois system (UK ; ; abbreviated avdp) is a system of weights (more properly, mass) based on a pound of 16 ounces. It is the everyday system of weight used in the United States and is still used to varying degrees in everyday life in the United Kingdom, Canada and some other former British colonies despite the official adoption of the metric system. An alternative system of mass, the troy system, is generally used for precious materials. The modern definition of the avoirdupois pound is exactly kilograms.

Usage examples of "avoirdupois".

My conversation at the Malibu Bar and No-Grill told Avoirdupois he could connect the spines with me.

Behind him, with his own pistol, was Avoirdupois, looking very pleased indeed.

I left, Avoirdupois was still trying to convince the others to join him in the search for the black crystal bird.

Jean-Luc Avoirdupois, but he greeted me as if we were all buddies and this whole business with the spine had ever happened.

I led Pele and Lono and Avoirdupois out the back door, across the little brick patio, across the public walkway, and onto the sand.

If you will kindly look at the original contract, a copy of which is in your possession, you will notice that nothing is said about the quality of the cattle, just so the pounds avoirdupois are there.

He was even larger than the last time Bryson had seen him, though his avoirdupois was elegantly sheathed in a suit of navy cashmere, his bull neck flattered by the spread collar of one of his Turnbull happened.

Later we found that it weighed 122 pounds avoirdupois, and was not much bigger than a magnum of champagne.

I shall put on about twenty kilos - I have a suit and shirt designed to cope with the excess avoirdupois -fatten my cheeks, tint hair and moustache, wear a sinister scar and a black leather glove.

Dutch traders were scrupulously honest in their dealings and purchased by weight, establishing it as an invariable table of avoirdupois, that the hand of a Dutchman weighed one pound, and his foot two pounds.

I was a little surprised at the liberty That Boy had taken in introducing an extra peptic element at our table, reflecting as I did that a certain number of avoirdupois ounces of nutriment which the visitor would dispose of corresponded to a very appreciable pecuniary amount, so that he was levying a contribution upon our Landlady which she might be inclined to complain of.

He was not much taller than Stile and tended to avoirdupois despite the antifat medication in the standard diet.

The avoirdupois ounce contains 18 pennyweights 5 1/2 grains troy weight.

But a Troy pound was only point eight-two-three of an Avoirdupois pound.

The Attic talent weighed about sixty minae, or avoirdupois pounds (see Hooper on Ancient Weights, Measures, &c.