Definition: Meter

From New World Encyclopedia
(Redirected from Metre)

Alternative forms

  • metre (British English for noun senses 2 and 3, rare for other senses)


Senses 1.1, 2, and 3 were borrowed from French mètre and Latin metrum; from Ancient Greek μέτρον (métron, “measure, rule, length, size, poetic metre”).

Sense 1.2 is a noun derived from mete, from Old English metan (“to measure, mark off”), possibly influencing the other meanings.


meter (plural meters)

  1. A device that measures things.
    1. A parking meter or similar device for collecting payment.
      gas meter
    2. (dated) One who metes or measures.
      a laboring coal-meter
  2. (American spelling) The base unit of length in the International System of Units (SI), conceived as 1/10,000,000 of the distance from the North Pole to the Equator, and now defined as the distance light will travel in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 seconds.
  3. (American spelling) The overall rhythm of a song or poem; particularly, the number of beats in a measure or syllables in a line.

Related terms

  • altimeter
  • centimeter
  • feed the meter
  • kilometer
  • metric
  • metrical
  • millimeter
  • odometer
  • pedometer
  • pentameter
  • spectropolarimeter
  • tachymeter
  • tetrameter


meter (third-person singular simple present meters, present participle metering, simple past and past participle metered)

  1. To measure with a metering device.
  2. To imprint a postage mark with a postage meter.
  3. To regulate the flow of or to deliver in regulated amounts (usually of fluids but sometimes of other things such as anticipation or breath).


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