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

  • adj. Of or relating to the meter or the metric system: U.S. Customary units and their metric equivalents.
  • n. A standard of measurement.
  • n. Mathematics A geometric function that describes the distances between pairs of points in a space.
  • adj. Of or relating to distance.
  • n. Poetic meter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of or relating to the metric system of measurement
  • adj. of or relating to the meter of a piece of music.
  • adj. Of or relating to distance
  • n. A measure for something; a means of deriving a quantitative measurement or approximation for otherwise qualitative phenomena (especially used in Software Engineering)
  • n. A measurement of the "distance" between two points in some metric space: it is a real-valued function d(x,y) between points x and y satisfying the following properties: (1) "positive definiteness": and , (2) "symmetry": , and (3) "triangle inequality": .
  • v. To measure or analyse statistical data concerning the quality or effectiveness of a process.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Relating to measurement; involving, or proceeding by, measurement.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the meter as a standard of measurement; of or pertaining to the decimal system of measurement of which a meter is the unit

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Quantitative; involving or relating to measures of distance, especially in different directions. See geometry.
  • Having meter or poetic rhythm; pertaining to meter or to metrics; metrical.
  • n. Same as metrics.
  • Pertaining to that system of weights and measures of which the meter is the fundamental unit.
  • See gram.

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

  • n. a decimal unit of measurement of the metric system (based on meters and kilograms and seconds)
  • n. a function of a topological space that gives, for any two points in the space, a value equal to the distance between them
  • n. a system of related measures that facilitates the quantification of some particular characteristic
  • adj. based on the meter as a standard of measurement
  • adj. the rhythmic arrangement of syllables


French métrique, from mètre, meter; see meter2.
From Latin metricus, relating to measurement; see metrical.
Greek (hē) metrikē (tekhnē), (the art) of meter, feminine of metrikos, relating to measurement; see metrical.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French métrique (1864), from New Latin metricus ("pertaining to the system based on the meter"), from metrum ("a meter"); see meter. (Wiktionary)



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  • "The administration is evidently now 'tweaking' its metrics. But let's admit it: metrics in war almost invariably turn out to occupy treacherous terrain. Think of it as quagmire territory, in part because numbers, however accurate (and they often aren't), can lie -- or rather, can tell the story you would like them to tell. The Vietnam War was a classic metrics war. Sometimes it seemed that Americans in Vietnam did nothing but invent new ways of measuring success."
    - Tom Engelhardt, Afghanistan by the Numbers,, 8 September 2009.

    September 9, 2009