- to distribute or apportion by measure; allot; dole (usually followed by out): to mete out punishment.
- Archaic. to measure.
Origin of mete1
- a limiting mark.
- a limit or boundary.
Origin of mete2
Examples from the Web for metes
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
Strange Providence that metes so unequally to one and to another.At His Gates, Vol. 1(of 3)
Then its metes and bounds were fixed by the fringe of kathekosity which circumscribed it.The Mystery of Space
Robert T. Browne
- (usually foll by out) formal to distribute or allot (something, often unpleasant)
- poetic, dialect (to) measure
- rare a mark, limit, or boundary (esp in the phrase metes and bounds)
Word Origin and History for metes
"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.
"boundary," now only in phrase metes and bounds, late 15c., from Old French mete "limit, bounds, frontier," from Latin meta "goal, boundary, post, pillar."