verb (used with object), met·ed, met·ing.

to distribute or apportion by measure; allot; dole (usually followed by out): to mete out punishment.
Archaic. to measure.

Origin of mete

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 for mete Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for meting

Contemporary Examples of meting

Historical Examples of meting

  • Your thoughts have nothing to do with the meting out of human justice.

  • Thus endowed, will she be capable of meting out the future's larva's portion?

    The Mason-bees

    J. Henri Fabre

  • It is believed that we have lived to see the meting out of some divine awards.

    Revisiting the Earth

    James Langdon Hill

  • It is my duty to use this power first of all in meting out justice.

    The Pharaoh and the Priest

    Alexander Glovatski

  • Then my wrongs should have received full vengeance, and none would have blamed me for meting it out to these two villains.

    In the Days of Drake

    J. S. Fletcher

British Dictionary definitions for meting



verb (tr)

(usually foll by out) formal to distribute or allot (something, often unpleasant)

verb, noun

poetic, dialect (to) measure

Word Origin for mete

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




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

Word Origin for mete

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 meting



"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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper