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mete1

[meet]
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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

Synonyms

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1. deal, measure, parcel.

mete2

[meet]
noun
  1. a limiting mark.
  2. a limit or boundary.
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Origin of mete2

1275–1325; Middle English < Middle French < Latin mēta goal, turning post

Synonyms

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

Examples from the Web for metes

Historical Examples

  • In fiction coincidence has its metes and bounds beyond which it dare not step.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • The suffering that it metes out to its victims is indescribable.

    Woman

    William J. Robinson

  • She closes the volume, and, musing, metes him out the hours and days he has to live.

    Lucretia, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Strange Providence that metes so unequally to one and to another.

  • Then its metes and bounds were fixed by the fringe of kathekosity which circumscribed it.

    The Mystery of Space

    Robert T. Browne


British Dictionary definitions for metes

mete1

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

mete2

noun
  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 metes

mete

v.

"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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mete

n.

"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