Definition of


  1. (noun, artifact) any of various measuring instruments for measuring a quantity
  2. (noun, attribute) rhythm as given by division into parts of equal duration
  3. (noun, communication) (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse
  4. (noun, quantity) the basic unit of length adopted under the Systeme International d'Unites (approximately 1.094 yards)
  5. (verb, change) measure with a meter
  6. (verb, contact) stamp with a meter indicating the postage

via WordNet, Princeton University

Synonyms of Meter

beat, cadence, m, measure, metre, time

Origin of the word Meter

  1. "poetic measure," O.E. meter, from L. metrum, from Gk. metron "meter, measure," from PIE base *me- "measure" (see meter (2)). Possibly reborrowed early 14c. (after a 300-year gap in recorded use) from O.Fr. metre, with specific sense of "metrical scheme in verse," from L. metrum. more
  2. "unit of length," 1797, from Fr. m?tre, from Gk. metron "measure," from PIE base *me- "measure" (cf. Gk. metra "lot, portion," Skt. mati "measures," matra "measure," Avestan, O.Pers. ma-, L. metri "to measure"). Developed by Fr. Academy of Sciences for system of weights and measures based on a decimal system originated 167… more
  3. "device for measuring," abstracted 1832 from gas-meter, etc., from Fr. -m?tre, used in combinations, from L. metrum "measure" or cognate Gk. metron "measure" (see meter (2)). Meter maid first recorded 1957. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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