World English Dictionary
metre or (US) meter1 (ˈmiːtə)
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
[C18: from French; see metre²]

metre or (US) meter2 (ˈmiːtə)
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
[C14: from Latin metrum, from Greek metron measure]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

British spelling of meter (q.v.); for suffix, see -re.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

metre definition

(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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Example sentences
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.
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