Two-by-four meaning

to͝o'bī-fôr', -bə-
Measuring two units by four units, especially inches.
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Small in size; boxed in or cramped.

A two-by-four apartment.

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A length of lumber that is 2 inches thick and 4 inches wide, or that is trimmed to slightly smaller dimensions.
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That measures two inches by four inches, two feet by four feet, etc.
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Small, narrow, cramped, etc.
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Any length of lumber two inches thick and four inches wide when untrimmed: in the building trades, applied to a trimmed piece 112 by 312 inches.
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Measuring two inches by four inches.
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(by extension) Small or cramped.
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A length of timber having this cross section. (Note: often this is dimensional lumber that was this size BEFORE being planed to finished form, which removes a quarter inch from each side.)
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(chiefly North America) A length of sawn wood of cross section 2 inches by 4 inches, most often employed as structural framing lumber (dimension or dimensional lumber).
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