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verb (used with object), met·ed, met·ing.
  1. to distribute or apportion by measure; allot; dole (usually followed by out): to mete out punishment.
  2. Archaic. to measure.
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Origin of mete1

before 900; Middle English; Old English metan; cognate with Dutch meten, Old Norse meta, Gothic mitan, German messen to measure, Greek mḗdesthai to ponder
Related formsun·met·ed, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

parcel, deal, give, ration, share, dole, portion, lot, measure, divide, allocate, allot, allow, apportion, assign, dispense, admeasure

Examples from the Web for meted

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British Dictionary definitions for meted


verb (tr)
  1. (usually foll by out) formal to distribute or allot (something, often unpleasant)
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verb, noun
  1. poetic, dialect (to) measure
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Word Origin

Old English metan; compare Old Saxon metan, Old Norse meta, German messen to measure


  1. rare a mark, limit, or boundary (esp in the phrase metes and bounds)
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Word Origin

C15: from Old French, from Latin mēta goal, turning post (in race)
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

Word Origin and History for meted



"to allot," Old English metan "to measure, mete out; compare, estimate" (class V strong verb; past tense mæt, past participle meten), from Proto-Germanic *metanan (cf. Old Saxon metan, Old Frisian, Old Norse meta, Dutch meten, Old High German mezzan, German messen, Gothic mitan "to measure"), from PIE *med- "to take appropriate measures" (see medical). Used now only with out. Related: Meted; meting.

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"boundary," now only in phrase metes and bounds, late 15c., from Old French mete "limit, bounds, frontier," from Latin meta "goal, boundary, post, pillar."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper