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meter1

or (especially British) metre

[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.
Origin of meter1
1790-1800
1790-1800; < French mètre < Greek métron measure

meter2

or (especially British) metre

[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.
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

or (especially British) metre

[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), metered, metering or (especially British) metred, metring.
3.
to measure by means of a meter.
4.
to process (mail) by means of a postage meter.
Origin
1805-15; see mete1, -er1
Related forms
unmetered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for metre
Historical Examples
  • The chamber, which was about a metre square, was filled with a thick damp clay.

    El Kab J.E. Quibell
  • The ordinary name would have fitted the metre quite as well.

    My Reminiscences Rabindranath Tagore
  • It is the metre of most of the traditional poetry preserved in the historic books of Scripture.

  • Neither their metre, nor language, nor thought had taken definite shape.

    My Reminiscences Rabindranath Tagore
  • Where if the metre would suffer the word Ridiculous to close the first line, the thought would be rather more proper.

    Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 Henry Fielding
  • She saw that I had no idea of metre, so she proceeded to teach me.

    The Promised Land Mary Antin
  • Its forms are too cumbrous for regularly recurring expressions, subjected at once to the laws of metre and rhyme.

    The Indian in his Wigwam Henry R. Schoolcraft
  • I wonder you were not startled with the metre, though maimed a bit.

  • These were placed in a circle at intervals of a metre, and close to the periphery of the shaft.

    Inventors at Work George Iles
  • The metre of Lyrics is in the main the same as that of Wisdom poetry.

British Dictionary definitions for metre

metre1

/ˈmiːtə/
noun
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
m
Word Origin
C18: from French; see metre²

metre2

/ˈmiːtə/
noun
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 (sense 22)
Word Origin
C14: from Latin metrum, from Greek metron measure

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 metre
n.

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

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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metre 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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metre 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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metre 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.
Cite This Source
metre in Technology

unit
(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.
(1998-02-07)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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7
8
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