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[mee-ter] /ˈmi tər/
an instrument for measuring, especially one that automatically measures and records the quantity of something, as of gas, water, miles, or time, when it is activated.
verb (used with object), metered, metering or (especially British) metred, metring.
to measure by means of a meter.
to process (mail) by means of a postage meter.
Also, especially British, metre.
Origin of meter3
First recorded in 1805-15; See origin at mete1, -er1
Related forms
unmetered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for metred
Historical Examples
  • Motion is conveyed to the governor balls by a belt and a band wheel working on a mechanism of metred cogs.

    Farm Engines and How to Run Them James H. Stephenson
British Dictionary definitions for metred


the US spelling of metre1


the US spelling of metre2


any device that measures and records the quantity of a substance, such as gas, that has passed through it during a specified period
any device that measures and sometimes records an electrical or magnetic quantity, such as current, voltage, etc
verb (transitive)
to measure (a rate of flow) with a meter
to print with stamps by means of a postage meter
Word Origin
C19: see mete1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for metred



also metre, "poetic measure," Old English meter "meter, versification," from Latin metrum, from Greek metron "meter, a verse; that by which anything is measured; measure, length, size, limit, proportion," from PIE root *me- "measure" (see meter (n.2)). Possibly reborrowed early 14c. (after a 300-year gap in recorded use) from Old French metre, with specific sense of "metrical scheme in verse," from Latin metrum.



also metre, unit of length, 1797, from French mètre (18c.), from Greek metron "measure," from PIE root *me- "to measure" (cf. Greek metra "lot, portion," Sanskrit mati "measures," matra "measure," Avestan, Old Persian ma-, Latin metri "to measure"). Developed by French Academy of Sciences for system of weights and measures based on a decimal system originated 1670 by French clergyman Gabriel Mouton. Originally intended to be one ten-millionth of the length of a quadrant of the meridian.



"device for measuring," abstracted 1832 from gas-meter, etc., from French -mètre, used in combinations (in English from 1790), from Latin metrum "measure" or cognate Greek metron "measure" (see meter (n.2)). Influenced by English meter "person who measures" (late 14c., agent noun from mete (v.)). As short for parking meter from 1960. Meter maid first recorded 1957; meter reader 1963.



"to measure by means of a meter," 1884, from meter (n.3). Meaning "install parking meters" is from 1957.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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metred in Medicine

meter me·ter (mē'tər)
Abbr. m
The standard unit of length in the International System of Units that is equivalent to 39.37 inches.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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metred in Science
The basic unit of length in the metric system, equal to 39.37 inches. See Table at measurement.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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metred in Culture

meter definition

The highly organized rhythm characteristic of verse; the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line. (See iambic pentameter.)

meter definition

The basic unit of length in the metric system; it was originally planned so that the circumference of the Earth would be measured at about forty million meters. A meter is 39.37 inches. Today, the meter is defined to be the distance light travels in 1 / 299,792,458 seconds.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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