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m. (to indicate repetition of an action); (to indicate one's ability or skill); (dialect, to indicate amount of sth in a container)
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In Chinese, there are two categories of measure words: those indicating units of persons or things, and those indicating the frequency of an action.
As a measure word, 下(儿) belongs to both groups. When it is a verbal measure word (the 2nd category), 下(儿) can be translated as "once", but to differentiate it from other verbal measure words such as 趟 and 遍, we need to point out that 下(儿) has two meanings:
Meaning 1: number of times that something happens
E.g.1 - 铃铛响了两下。 [phr] The bell rang twice.
Meaning 2. an action that lasts for a very short time.
E.g.2 - 看一下 [v] have a look
一下(儿) has the function as a verbal reduplication. E.g. 看一下(儿),看一看,看看 all have the same functions.

If you would like to learn more about other similar verbal measure words, please check out these entries in our dictionary: 次(ci4),趟(tang4) and 遍 (bian4).
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