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1. Measuring two units by four units, especially inches.
2. Slang Small in size; boxed in or cramped: a two-by-four apartment.
A length of lumber that is 2 inches thick and 4 inches wide, or that is trimmed to slightly smaller dimensions.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Building) a length of untrimmed timber with a cross section that measures 2 inches by 4 inches
2. (Building) a trimmed timber joist with a cross section that measures 1 inches by 3 inches
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. two units thick and four units wide, esp. in inches.
2. Informal. unimportant; insignificant.n.
3. 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 trimmed.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.