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meter1

[mee-ter] /ˈmi tər/
noun
1.
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
1790-1800; < French mètre < Greek métron measure

meter2

[mee-ter] /ˈmi tər/
noun
1.
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).
2.
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, 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

meter3

[mee-ter] /ˈmi tər/
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
Related forms
unmetered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for meters
  • For a time our teachers serve us personally, as meters or milestones of progress.
  • Only the clerks know what is available, only they judge the equivalence and can give or take a few square meters here and there.
  • In the city, she scrounged for change in parking meters and used an old wooden door for a writing desk.
  • The big mining machines remove tons of coal and expose hundreds of square meters of rocks.
  • Everyone nodded urgently, fiddling with exposure meters.
  • They argued that expressive rhythm was more effective than familiar meters.
  • On the whole expanse of one million square meters, nothing was being shot.
  • Step back a few meters, however, and she will look to the right.
  • Imagine that you are playing pocket billiards on a pool table that is three meters long and one meter wide.
  • On reaching gently sloping coastlines the tsunami slowed down, shoaled and rose many meters to descend on unsuspecting humans.
British Dictionary definitions for meters

meter1

/ˈmiːtə/
noun
1.
the US spelling of metre1

meter2

/ˈmiːtə/
noun
1.
the US spelling of metre2

meter3

/ˈmiːtə/
noun
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.
verb (transitive)
4.
to measure (a rate of flow) with a meter
5.
to print with stamps by means of a postage meter
Word Origin
C19: see mete1
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 meters

meter

n.

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.

v.

"to measure by means of a meter," 1884, from meter (n.3). Meaning "install parking meters" is from 1957.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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meters in Medicine

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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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meters in Science
meter
  (mē'tər)   
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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meters in Culture

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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