Difference Between Gage and Gauge

Main Difference

Gauge is a word that is used to refer to measuring instruments that measure a physical characteristic of an object. Gage is a word that has two meanings, one of which is pledge. This means it is used to refer to a surety or an item that is deposited in lieu of a loan. The word has the same root as we find in engage and wage. Engage reflects one’s promise to marry or the willingness to enter an agreement. The root also finds use in mortgage.

What is Gage?

Gage is also referred as gauge at some places with the definition of a device used for measurement. Gage is something, such as a glove or other pledge, thrown down as a challenge to combat (now usually figurative) or gage can be a variety of plum. Gage is (obsolete) to give or deposit as a pledge or security; to pawn or gage can be (gauge) to measure

What is Gauge?

A gauge can be described as “a device for measuring a physical quantity”, for example “to determine thickness, gap in space, diameter of materials, or pressure of flow”, or “a device that displays the measurement of a monitored system by the use of a needle or pointer that moves along a calibrated scale”.

Key Differences

  1. As verbs the difference between gage and gauge is that gage is (obsolete) to give or deposit as a pledge or security; to pawn or gage can be (gauge) to measure while gauge is to measure or determine with a gauge; to measure the capacity.
  2. As nouns the difference between gage and gauge is that gage is something, such as a glove or other pledge, thrown down as a challenge to combat (now usually figurative) or gage can be a variety of plum while gauge is a measure; a standard of measure; an instrument to determine dimensions, distance, or capacity; a standard.
  3. Gauge is used more in conjunction with a device that has moving parts, and gage seems to be used more with devices that don’t have moving parts, i.e., jo-blocks, ring or plug thread gages, etc.
  4. When the unit of measure is taken by direct reckoning, use gage. When there’s a dial or something else that moves in response to external force (or stress) use gauge.
  5. A stream gage is different than an earth-pressure gauge in functioning.
  6. Though there are people who use the spelling gage for a measuring instrument, the correct word is gauge that is used both as a noun as well as verb.
  7. There are other meanings of gage, and it can be a spelling variant of gauge, as well.
  8. Gage is a root in many English words such as engage, wage, and mortgage.
  9. It appears that “gage” has become a colloquialism for “gauge”, presumably because of laziness & poor spelling. In reality, they both have clear different meanings in terms of definition and function.
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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