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"?

  • 3
    I’d say either is acceptable, but I’d use [in/along] its greatest dimension.
    – Jim
    May 18, 2015 at 0:26
  • 1
    "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. May 18, 2015 at 9:04
  • Also consider "the rock measures 10 cm along its major axis"
    – Adam
    Jul 14, 2018 at 5:15

2 Answers 2


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.


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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