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[mee-ter] /ˈmi tər/
noun, verb, metred, metring. British
1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for metre
  • Its web can stretch up to a metre across, and the spider eats and re-spins it every few days.
  • He considered this exercised also as a work of penance, compositions in metre being always more difficult than those in prose.
  • Now the size of transistors is measured in billionths of a metre.
  • It is heavy-one cubic metre weighs a tonne-so expensive to move.
British Dictionary definitions for metre


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
Word Origin
C18: from French; see metre²


(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 (sense 22)
Word Origin
C14: from Latin metrum, from Greek metron measure
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
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Word Origin and History for metre

chiefly British English spelling of meter (n.); for spelling, see -re.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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metre in Technology

(US "meter") The fundamental SI unit of length.
From 1889 to 1960, the metre was defined to be the distance between two scratches in a platinum-iridium bar kept in the vault beside the Standard Kilogram at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures near Paris.
This replaced an earlier definition as 10^-7 times the distance between the North Pole and the Equator along a meridian through Paris; unfortunately, this had been based on an inexact value of the circumference of the Earth.
From 1960 to 1984 it was defined to be 1650763.73 wavelengths of the orange-red line of krypton-86 propagating in a vacuum.
It is now defined as the length of the path traveled by light in a vacuum in the time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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