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Suppose the context is measuring a size of a piece of rock:

  1. The rock measures 10 cm along the greatest dimension.
  2. The rock measures 10 cm in the greatest dimension.

Should it be "along" or "in"?

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  • 3
    I’d say either is acceptable, but I’d use [in/along] its greatest dimension. – Jim May 18 '15 at 0:26
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    "along" might imply "along an edge", but the object might be pointed (i.e. not close to rectangular), so the greatest dimension is a distance through the object, rather than along an edge. So I would favor "in its greatest dimension". But I wouldn't say "along" is wrong—it's just that one has to think of measuring "along" an invisible line passing through the object. – Brian Hitchcock May 18 '15 at 9:04
  • Also consider "the rock measures 10 cm along its major axis" – Adam Jul 14 '18 at 5:15
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I'd say that "along" sounds better to me although "in" might also be possible. I wouldn't say that the change from "the" to "its" isn't absolutely necessary but it does improve it.

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In my humble opinion the two choices I'd use would be "along" and "across" if speaking about an axis or a dimension.

  • The tree measures 8 meters along/across its height.

Otherwise, I'd prefer:

  • The height of the tree measures 8 meters.

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