from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The measured arrangement of words in poetry, as by accentual rhythm, syllabic quantity, or the number of syllables in a line.
  • n. A particular arrangement of words in poetry, such as iambic pentameter, determined by the kind and number of metrical units in a line.
  • n. The rhythmic pattern of a stanza, determined by the kind and number of lines.
  • n. Music Division into measures or bars.
  • n. Music A specific rhythm determined by the number of beats and the time value assigned to each note in a measure.
  • n. The international standard unit of length, approximately equivalent to 39.37 inches. It was redefined in 1983 as the distance traveled by light in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second. See Table at measurement.
  • n. Any of various devices designed to measure time, distance, speed, or intensity or indicate and record or regulate the amount or volume, as of the flow of a gas or an electric current.
  • n. A postage meter.
  • n. A parking meter.
  • transitive v. To measure with a meter: meter a flow of water.
  • transitive v. To supply in a measured or regulated amount: metered the allotted gasoline to each vehicle.
  • transitive v. To imprint with postage or other revenue stamps by means of a postage meter or similar device: metering bulk mail.
  • transitive v. To provide with a parking meter or parking meters: meter parking spaces.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A device that measures things.
  • n. A parking meter.
  • n. The base unit of length in the International System of Units (SI), conceived of as 1/10000000 of the distance from the North Pole to the Equator, and now defined as the distance light will travel in a vacuum in 1/299792458 second.
  • n. (music) an increment of music; the overall rhythm; particularly, the number of beats in a measure.
  • n. The rhythm pattern in a poem.
  • v. To measure with a metering device.
  • v. To imprint a postage mark with a postage meter

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who, or that which, metes or measures. See coal-meter.
  • n. An instrument for measuring, and usually for recording automatically, the quantity measured.
  • n. A line above or below a hanging net, to which the net is attached in order to strengthen it.
  • n. Rhythmical arrangement of syllables or words into verses, stanzas, strophes, etc.; poetical measure, depending on number, quantity, and accent of syllables; rhythm; measure; verse; also, any specific rhythmical arrangements
  • n. A poem.
  • n. A measure of length, equal to 39.37 English inches, the standard of linear measure in the metric system of weights and measures. It was intended to be, and is very nearly, the ten millionth part of the distance from the equator to the north pole, as ascertained by actual measurement of an arc of a meridian. See Metric system, under Metric.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To measure by means of a meter; test by the use of a meter.
  • n. One who measures; a measurer: as, a coal-meter; a land-meter.
  • n. That which measures, or is used for measuring; specifically, an instrument that records or indicates automatically the quantity, force, or pressure of a fluid passing through it or actuating it: used in composition, as in gas-meter, water-meter (see these words), or alone when the fluid to be measured, as gas or water, is understood.
  • n. In fishing, one of the two reinforcing ropes of a seine or gill-net, of which one is attached to the upper edge and carries the floats, and the other to the lower edge and bears the weights or sinkers
  • n. Rhythm in language; rhythmic language as measurable by prosodic times or uttered syllables; more specifically, arrangement of language in a succession of rhythmic movements, readily appreciable as such by the ear; verse, as opposed to prose. Meter in this sense is the subject-matter of the science of metrics
  • n. Measured verse or rhythmic language; rhythmic language as determined by or divided into fixed measures.
  • n. In music, the division of a composition into parts of equal time-value and of similar essential rhythmic structure.
  • n. In Eng. hymnology, a pattern of versification, including the structure of the prosodical feet used, the grouping of those feet into lines, and the grouping of lines into stanzas or strophes, popularly called verses. See foot and versification.
  • n. The fundamental unit of length of the French metrical system.
  • n. In photography, an instrument for determining the time of exposure.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the basic unit of length adopted under the Systeme International d'Unites (approximately 1.094 yards)
  • n. rhythm as given by division into parts of equal duration
  • v. measure with a meter
  • n. any of various measuring instruments for measuring a quantity
  • n. (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse
  • v. stamp with a meter indicating the postage


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old English meter and from Old French metre, both from Latin metrum, from Greek metron, measure, poetic meter.
French mètre, from Greek metron, measure.
From -meter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French mètre, from Ancient Greek μέτρον (metron, "measure")



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  • No particular manufacture is carried on here; the staple commodity is malt, of which large quantities are made: this place is a general reservoir for the major part of that article made within 25 or 30 miles, particularly from Saffron Walden in Essex, Newport, and villages adjacent; it is deposited in the care of persons called meters, and disposed of by them to factors or brewers in London for a small commission of 1 1/2d. per quarter; it is then put on board barges and sent to the metropolis.

    —from a description of Bishop's Stortford in the Universal British Directory, 1791

    September 4, 2009