two-by-four

two-by-four
noun
a timber measuring (slightly under) 2 inches by 4 inches in cross section (Freq. 2)
Hypernyms: ↑timber

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I. \\| ̷ ̷_bə| ̷ ̷\ adjective
1. : measuring two units (as inches) by four
2. : small

from two-by-four enterprises set up in barns and kitchens … to the big industrial plants — New York Herald Tribune Book Review

narrow, tight, two-by-four lives — Manuel Komroff

II. noun
Etymology: two-by-four (I)
: a piece of lumber having finished dimensions of 1 5/8 by 3 5/8 inches

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/tooh"buy fawr', -fohr', -beuh-/, adj.
1. two units thick and four units wide, esp. in inches.
2. Informal. lacking adequate space; cramped: a small, two-by-four room.
3. Informal. unimportant; insignificant: Theirs was a petty, two-by-four operation.
n.
4. a timber measuring 2 by 4 in. (5 × 10 cm) in cross section, when untrimmed: equivalent to 15/8 by 35/8 in. (41/2 × 9 cm) when trimmed.
[1880-85, Amer.]

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two-by-fourˈ noun
(a piece of) timber measuring four inches by two inches in cross-section (somewhat less when dressed)
• • •
Main Entry:two

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two-by-four «TOO by FR, -FOHR», adjective, noun.
–adj.
1. measuring two inches or feet by four inches or feet.
2. Informal, Figurative. a) small; narrow; limited: »

a two-by-four room.

b) small in mind or outlook; petty: »

a two-by-four political hanger-on.

–n.
a piece of lumber formerly four inches wide by two inches thick. Two-by-fours are now about 1¾ inches by 35/8 inches and are used especially in building.

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n. a piece of lumber with a rectangular cross section nominally two inches by four inches
[usu. as adj.] a small or insignificant thing, typically a building

they lived in a two-by-four shack of one bedroom

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/ˌtuːbaıˈfoɚ/ noun, pl -fours [count]
US : a piece of wood that has been cut to be long and straight so that it can be used for building things and that is about 2 inches thick and 4 inches wide

We used two-by-fours to build the porch.


Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • two-by-four — ☆ two by four [to͞o′bī fôr΄ ] adj. 1. that measures two inches by four inches, two feet by four feet, etc. 2. Informal small, narrow, cramped, etc. n. any length of lumber two inches thick and four inches wide when untrimmed: in the building… …   English World dictionary

  • two-by-four — two′ by four adj. 1) two units thick and four units wide, esp. in inches 2) inf Informal. unimportant; insignificant 3) bui a timber measuring 2 by 4 in. (5 x 10 cm) in cross section, when untrimmed: equivalent to 1? by 3? in. (4.5 x 9 cm) when… …   From formal English to slang

  • two-by-four — /tooh buy fawr , fohr , beuh /, adj. 1. two units thick and four units wide, esp. in inches. 2. Informal. lacking adequate space; cramped: a small, two by four room. 3. Informal. unimportant; insignificant: Theirs was a petty, two by four… …   Universalium

  • two-by-four — I. noun Date: 1884 a piece of lumber approximately 2 by 4 inches as sawed and usually 1 5/8 by 3 5/8 inches when dressed II. adjective Date: 1897 1. small or petty of its kind < this house and its two by four garden Philip Barry > 2. measuring… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • two-by-four — mod. small. □ A two by four office with a chair and a desk was where Barlowe hung out. □ I can’t stand living in this two by four room! …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

  • Two You Four You — Infobox Album | Name = Two You Four You Type = Album Artist = Tackey and Tsubasa Released = November 15, 2006 Recorded = avex studio, FOLIO SOUND STUDIO, ON AIR AZABU STUDIO, JOHNNY S STUDIO, prime sound studio form, sunrise studio, WARNER STUDIO …   Wikipedia

  • two-by-four — /ˈtu bi fɔ/ (say tooh bee faw) adjective 1. two units thick and four units wide, especially in inches. 2. US Colloquial a. small in size. b. unimportant; insignificant. –noun 3. any length of timber approximately two inches thick and four inches… …  

  • two-by-four — 1. adjective a) measuring two inches by four inches b) small or cramped 2. noun A length of timber having this cross section. (Note: often this is dimensional lumber that was this size BEFORE being planed to finished form, whi …   Wiktionary

  • two-by-four — piece of wood that is four units wide and two units thick; narrow, tight (Informal); lack of importance (Informal) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • two-by-four —    British    a prostitute    Rhyming slang for whore, punning on the rag used as a pull through to clean the barrel of a .303 rifle, although soldiers in the Second World War called it four by two …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

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