- the fundamental unit of length in the metric system, equivalent to 39.37 U.S. inches, originally intended to be, and being very nearly, equal to one ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to the pole measured on a meridian: defined from 1889 to 1960 as the distance between two lines on a platinum-iridium bar (the “International Prototype Meter”) preserved at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures near Paris; from 1960 to 1983 defined as 1,650,763.73 wavelengths of the orange-red radiation of krypton 86 under specified conditions; and now defined as 1/299,792,458 of the distance light travels in a vacuum in one second. Abbreviation: m
Origin of meter1
- the rhythmic element as measured by division into parts of equal time value.
- the unit of measurement, in terms of number of beats, adopted for a given piece of music.Compare measure(def 14).
- poetic measure; arrangement of words in regularly measured, patterned, or rhythmic lines or verses.
- a particular form of such arrangement, depending on either the kind or the number of feet constituting the verse or both rhythmic kind and number of feet (usually used in combination): pentameter; dactylic meter; iambic trimeter.
Origin of meter2
- 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.
- parking meter.
- to measure by means of a meter.
- to process (mail) by means of a postage meter.
Origin of meter3
- a combining form meaning “measure,” used in the names of instruments measuring quantity, extent, degree, etc.: altimeter; barometer.
Origin of -meter
Examples from the Web for meter
You can only see from above about a meter below the surface.James Cameron Dives into the Ocean's Abyss
July 21, 2014
On one recent night, with only a brief break between, she had two five-hour private sessions—the meter running by the minute.Meet LittleRedBunny, the Queen of Cam Girls
March 2, 2014
Bud Light: Rescue Dog Weego Year: 2012 Ad Meter Score: 8.42 Kellogg Grade: C Share Price Change: 1.61 percent 6.
Skechers: Dog in Sneakers Year: 2012 Ad Meter Score: 8.57 Kellogg Grade: A Share Price Change: 1.74 percent 2.
Doritos: Dog-Collar Revenge Year: 2010 Ad Meter Score: 8.27 Kellogg Grade: B Share Price Change: 3.30 percent 5.
It even included a meter to determine the current actually consumed.The Age of Invention
It was all a new experience to him, and his meter was registering the time.
Not more than half a meter from the pavement, it checked its fall and settled.The Best Made Plans
Everett B. Cole
His greatest work, "Harmony and Meter," was published in 1853.A Popular History of the Art of Music
W. S. B. Mathews
The meter only registered eightpence, but she gave me half-a-crown.The Yellow Claw
- the US spelling of metre 1
- the US spelling of metre 2
- 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
- See parking meter
- to measure (a rate of flow) with a meter
- to print with stamps by means of a postage meter
- indicating an instrument for measuringbarometer
- prosody indicating a verse having a specified number of feetpentameter
Word Origin and History for meter
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.
word-forming element meaning "device or instrument for measuring; commonly -ometer, occasionally -imeter; from French -mètre, from Greek metron (see meter (n.3)).
- The standard unit of length in the International System of Units that is equivalent to 39.37 inches.
- Measuring device:refractometer.
- The basic unit of length in the metric system, equal to 39.37 inches. See Table at measurement.