meter

1
[mee-ter]

noun

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

Nearby words

  1. meteorological,
  2. meteorological satellite,
  3. meteorologist,
  4. meteorology,
  5. meteorotropic,
  6. meter angle,
  7. meter is running, the,
  8. meter maid,
  9. meter-candle,
  10. meter-candle-second

Also especially British, me·tre.

Origin of meter

1
1790–1800; < French mètre < Greek métron measure

meter

2
[mee-ter]

noun

Music.
  1. the rhythmic element as measured by division into parts of equal time value.
  2. the unit of measurement, in terms of number of beats, adopted for a given piece of music.Compare measure(def 14).
Prosody.
  1. poetic measure; arrangement of words in regularly measured, patterned, or rhythmic lines or verses.
  2. 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.
Also especially British, me·tre.

Origin of meter

2
before 900; Middle English metir, metur, Old English meter < Latin metrum poetic meter, verse < Greek métron measure; replacing Middle English metre < Middle French < Latin as above

meter

3
[mee-ter]

noun

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.

verb (used with object), me·tered, me·ter·ing or (especially British) me·tred, me·tring.

to measure by means of a meter.
to process (mail) by means of a postage meter.
Also especially British, me·tre.

Origin of meter

3
First recorded in 1805–15; see origin at mete1, -er1

Related formsun·me·tered, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for metre


British Dictionary definitions for metre

metre

1

US meter

noun

a metric unit of length equal to approximately 1.094 yards
the basic SI unit of length; the length of the path travelled by light in free space during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second. In 1983 this definition replaced the previous one based on krypton-86, which in turn had replaced the definition based on the platinum-iridium metre bar kept in Paris
Symbol: m

Word Origin for metre

C18: from French; see metre ²

noun

prosody the rhythmic arrangement of syllables in verse, usually according to the number and kind of feet in a line
music another word (esp US) for time (def. 22)

Word Origin for metre

C14: from Latin metrum, from Greek metron measure

meter

1

noun

the US spelling of metre 1

meter

2

noun

the US spelling of metre 2

meter

3

noun

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

verb (tr)

to measure (a rate of flow) with a meter
to print with stamps by means of a postage meter

Word Origin for meter

C19: see mete 1

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 metre
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for metre

meter

[mētər]

n.

The standard unit of length in the International System of Units that is equivalent to 39.37 inches.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for metre

meter

[mētər]

The basic unit of length in the metric system, equal to 39.37 inches. See Table at measurement.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for metre

meter

The highly organized rhythm characteristic of verse; the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line. (See iambic pentameter.)

meter

The basic unit of length in the metric system; it was originally planned so that the circumference of the Earth would be measured at about forty million meters. A meter is 39.37 inches. Today, the meter is defined to be the distance light travels in 1 / 299,792,458 seconds.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.