Measurement is the quantification of attributes of an object or event, which can be used to compare with other objects or events. The scope and application of measurement are dependent on the context and discipline. In natural sciences and engineering, measurements do not apply to nominal properties of objects or events, which is consistent with the guidelines of the International vocabulary of metrology published by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. However, in other fields such as statistics as well as the social and behavioural sciences, measurements can have multiple levels, which would include nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio scales.
Measurement is a cornerstone of trade, science, technology and quantitative research in many disciplines. Historically, many measurement systems existed for the varied fields of human existence to facilitate comparisons in these fields. Often these were achieved by local agreements between trading partners or collaborators. Since the 18th century, developments progressed towards unifying, widely accepted standards that resulted in the modern International System of Units (SI). This system reduces all physical measurements to a mathematical combination of seven base units. The science of measurement is pursued in the field of metrology.
Measurement is defined as the process of comparison of an unknown quantity with a known or standard quantity.