AskDefine | Define bushel

Dictionary Definition



1 a United States dry measure equal to 4 pecks or 2152.42 cubic inches
2 a British imperial capacity measure (liquid or dry) equal to 4 pecks
3 a basket large enough to hold a bushel [syn: bushel basket] v : restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken; "She repaired her TV set"; "Repair my shoes please" [syn: repair, mend, fix, doctor, furbish up, restore, touch on] [ant: break] [also: bushelling, bushelled]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A dry measure, containing four pecks, eight gallons (36.4 L), or thirty-two quarts.
    The Winchester bushel, formerly used in England, contained 2150.42 cubic inches, being the volume of a cylinder 181/2 inches in internal diameter and eight inches in depth. The standard bushel measures, prepared by the United States Government and distributed to the States, hold each 77.6274 pounds of distilled water, at 39.8° Fahr. and 30 inches atmospheric pressure, being the equivalent of the Winchester bushel. The imperial bushel now in use in England is larger than the Winchester bushel, containing 2218.2 cubic inches, or 80 pounds of water at 62° Fahr.
    • 1882: The quarter, bushel, and peck are nearly universal measures of corn. — James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, Volume 4, p. 207.
  2. A vessel of the capacity of a bushel, used in measuring; a bushel measure.
  3. A quantity that fills a bushel measure; as, a heap containing ten bushels of apples.
    In the United States a large number of articles, bought and sold by the bushel, are measured by weighing, the number of pounds that make a bushel being determined by State law or by local custom. For some articles, as apples, potatoes, etc., heaped measure is required in measuring a bushel.
  4. A large indefinite quantity. [Colloq.]
  5. The iron lining in the nave of a wheel. [Eng.] In the United States it is called a box.


dry measure
vessel of capacity of a bushel

Extensive Definition

A bushel is a unit of dry volume, usually subdivided into eight local gallons in the systems of Imperial units and U.S. customary units. It is used for volumes of dry commodities, not liquids, most often in agriculture. It is abbreviated as bsh. or bu.
  • 1 U.S. bushel = 35.23907017 litres = 8 corn/dry gallons = 9.309177489 wine/liquid gallons
  • 1 Imperial bushel = 36.36872 litres = 8 Imperial gallons
Bushels are now most often used as units of mass rather than of volume. The bushels in which grains are bought and sold on commodity markets or at local grain elevators, and for reports of grain production, are all units of mass. This is done by assigning a standard weight to each commodity that is to be measured in bushels. These bushels depend on the commodities being measured; some of the more common ones are (all exact):
Other specific values are defined (and those definitions may vary in different jurisdictions, including from state to state in the United States) for other grains, oilseeds, fruits, vegetables, coal, hair, and many other commodities.
Government policy in the United States is to phase out units such as the bushel and replace them with the metric system as used for all purposes in the rest of the world, and for all scientific and technical purposes world wide. It is therefore important to know how the bushel relates to the metric equivalent, and whether the bushels are used as units of mass or units of volume.
The name “bushel” has also been used to translate foreign units of a similar size and sometimes shared origin, like the German “Scheffel”.


The bushel was originally a measure of capacity for grain. During the Middle Ages, the bushel of wheat was supposed to weigh 64 tower pounds, but when the tower system was abolished in the 16th century, it was described as 56 avoirdupois pounds. The bushel was rarely used in Scotland, Ireland or Wales during the Middle Ages.
Until and before the 19th century there were even more gallons in use. Examples: ; 1848 cu in: statute of 5th of Anne ; 2124 cu in: Exchequer (Henry VII., 1091, with rim) ; 2150 cu in: Winchester, statute 13 + 14 by William III. ; 2168 cu in: Exchequer (1601, E.), corn ; 2217.44 cu in: coal, statute 12 of Anne ; 2227.2 cu in: Exchequer (1601 and 1602 pints) ; 2256 cu in: Treasury (gallon for beer and ale)


bushel in German: Bushel
bushel in Estonian: Buššel
bushel in Spanish: Celemín
bushel in French: Boisseau
bushel in Hebrew: בושל
bushel in Dutch: Bushel
bushel in Japanese: ブッシェル
bushel in Narom: Bouissé
bushel in Polish: Buszel
bushel in Russian: Бушель
bushel in Slovak: Bušel
bushel in Ukrainian: Бушель
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