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
Also, British, metre.


Origin:
1790–1800; < French mètre < Greek métron measure

Dictionary.com Unabridged

meter

2 [mee-ter]
noun
1.
Music.
a.
the rhythmic element as measured by division into parts of equal time value.
b.
the unit of measurement, in terms of number of beats, adopted for a given piece of music. Compare measure ( def 14 ).
2.
Prosody.
a.
poetic measure; arrangement of words in regularly measured, patterned, or rhythmic lines or verses.
b.
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, British, metre.


Origin:
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
1.
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)
3.
to measure by means of a meter.
4.
to process (mail) by means of a postage meter.
Also, British, metre.


Origin:
1805–15; see mete1, -er1

unmetered, adjective

-meter

a combining form meaning “measure,” used in the names of instruments measuring quantity, extent, degree, etc.: altimeter; barometer.
Compare -metry.


Origin:
< Neo-Latin -metrum < Greek métron measure

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
meter1 (ˈmiːtə)
 
n
the US spelling of metre

meter2 (ˈmiːtə)
 
n
the US spelling of metre

meter3 (ˈmiːtə)
 
n
1.  any device that measures and records the quantity of a substance, such as gas, that has passed through it during a specified period
2.  any device that measures and sometimes records an electrical or magnetic quantity, such as current, voltage, etc
3.  See parking meter
 
vb
4.  to measure (a rate of flow) with a meter
5.  to print with stamps by means of a postage meter
 
[C19: see mete1]

-meter
 
n combining form
1.  indicating an instrument for measuring: barometer
2.  prosody indicating a verse having a specified number of feet: pentameter
 
[from Greek metron measure]

metre or (US) meter1 (ˈmiːtə)
 
n
1.  a metric unit of length equal to approximately 1.094 yards
2.  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
 
[C18: from French; see metre²]
 
meter or (US) meter1
 
n
 
[C18: from French; see metre²]

metre or (US) meter2 (ˈmiːtə)
 
n
1.  prosody the rhythmic arrangement of syllables in verse, usually according to the number and kind of feet in a line
2.  music another word (esp US) for time
 
[C14: from Latin metrum, from Greek metron measure]
 
meter or (US) meter2
 
n
 
[C14: from Latin metrum, from Greek metron measure]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

meter
"poetic measure," O.E. meter, from L. metrum, from Gk. metron "meter, measure," from PIE base *me- "measure" (see meter (2)). Possibly reborrowed early 14c. (after a 300-year gap in recorded use) from O.Fr. metre, with specific sense of "metrical scheme in verse," from L. metrum.

meter
"unit of length," 1797, from Fr. mètre, from Gk. metron "measure," from PIE base *me- "measure" (cf. Gk. metra "lot, portion," Skt. mati "measures," matra "measure," Avestan, O.Pers. ma-, L. metri "to measure"). Developed by Fr. Academy of Sciences for system of weights and measures based on a
decimal system originated 1670 by Fr. clergyman Gabriel Mouton. Originally intended to be one ten-millionth of the length of a quadrant of the meridian.

meter
"device for measuring," abstracted 1832 from gas-meter, etc., from Fr. -mètre, used in combinations, from L. metrum "measure" or cognate Gk. metron "measure" (see meter (2)). Meter maid first recorded 1957.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

meter me·ter (mē'tər)
n.
Abbr. m
The standard unit of length in the International System of Units that is equivalent to 39.37 inches.

-meter suff.
Measuring device: refractometer.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
meter   (mē'tər)  Pronunciation Key 
The basic unit of length in the metric system, equal to 39.37 inches. See Table at measurement.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

meter definition


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

meter definition


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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

meter definition

spelling
US spelling of "metre".
(1998-02-07)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Whether smart electric meters are ripping off consumers by overstating
  electricity use is now a matter of debate.
The ship was moved one meter.
The first electric meter was invented quite by accident.
This 146-square-meter (1572-square-foot) apartment, on the 26th floor, has city
  views.
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