- 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
Examples from the Web for metre
Clearly their constancy to this metre was not the result of any technical deficiency.The Lyric
The ordinary name would have fitted the metre quite as well.
In the metre which so came to him he afterwards composed his Ramayana.
Neither their metre, nor language, nor thought had taken definite shape.
The gas clings to the earth in a layer about half a metre thick.Beasts, Men and Gods
- 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
- 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)
- 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
Word Origin and History for metre
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.
- The standard unit of length in the International System of Units that is equivalent to 39.37 inches.
- The basic unit of length in the metric system, equal to 39.37 inches. See Table at measurement.