The machine at the parking space that takes your quarters is a meter. A meter is also a way of organizing and counting beats in poetry or music, and in the metric system, a meter is roughly equal to a yard.

Despite the fact that meter has many uses, they all relate to the same things: counting and measuring. The parking meter measures how long you've been parked, while a car's speedometer measures speed. Meters and kilometers measure distance. In music and poetry, the meter is the rhythm or beat. English poetry, such as the work of Shakespeare, uses a meter called iambic pentameter, which sounds like da DUM, da DUM, da DUM, da DUM, da DUM.

Definitions of meter
  1. noun
    the basic unit of length adopted under the Systeme International d'Unites (approximately 1.094 yards)
    synonyms: m, metre
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    type of:
    metric linear unit
    a linear unit of distance in metric terms
  2. noun
    any of various measuring instruments for measuring a quantity
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    a meter that measures the flow of electrical current in amperes
    electric meter, power meter
    a meter for measuring the amount of electric power used
    meter to measure electrostatic voltage differences; draws no current from the source
    meter that measures magnetic flux by the current it generates in a coil
    meter for detecting or comparing or measuring small electric currents
    gas meter, gasometer
    a meter for measuring the amount of gas flowing through a particular pipe
    gaussmeter, magnetometer
    a meter to compare strengths of magnetic fields
    hodometer, mileometer, milometer, odometer
    a meter that shows mileage traversed
    a meter for measuring electrical resistance in ohms
    postage meter
    meter for bulk mailings that imprints correct prepaid postage on pieces of mail and records the total charge
    meter to detect and measure radiant energy (electromagnetic or acoustic)
    a meter that measures the reflectance of a surface
    speed indicator, speedometer
    a meter fixed to a vehicle that measures and displays its speed
    a meter in a taxi that registers the fare (based on the length of the ride)
    meter that measures the potential difference between two points
    a meter to measure the volume of gases, liquids, or solids (either directly or by displacement)
    water meter
    meter for measuring the quantity of water passing through a particular outlet
    astatic galvanometer
    has a moving magnet and astatic coils arranged to cancel the effect of the Earth's magnetic field
    Crookes radiometer
    electromagnetic radiometer consisting of a small paddlewheel that rotates when placed in daylight
    electronic voltmeter
    a voltmeter whose sensitivity is increased by amplification
    speedometer for measuring the speed of an aircraft relative to the speed of sound
    a sensitive ammeter graduated in milliamperes
    sensitive voltmeter that can measure voltage in millivolts
    moving-coil galvanometer
    a galvanometer that is operated by the force exerted by an electric current flowing in a movable coil suspended in a magnetic field
    radiometer that is extremely sensitive
    Rayleigh disk
    an acoustic radiometer consisting of a light disk suspended from a quartz thread; when exposed to a progressive sound wave its torque can measure velocity
    type of:
    measuring device, measuring instrument, measuring system
    instrument that shows the extent or amount or quantity or degree of something
  3. verb
    measure with a meter
    meter the flow of water”
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    type of:
    measure, quantify
    express as a number or measure or quantity
  4. noun
    rhythm as given by division into parts of equal duration
    synonyms: metre, time
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    type of:
    the rhythmic property imparted by the accents and relative durations of notes in a piece of music
  5. noun
    (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse
    synonyms: beat, cadence, measure, metre
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    the absence of a syllable in the last foot of a line or verse
    analysis of verse into metrical patterns
    common measure, common meter
    the usual (iambic) meter of a ballad
    foot, metrical foot, metrical unit
    (prosody) a group of 2 or 3 syllables forming the basic unit of poetic rhythm
    a metrical unit with stressed-unstressed-unstressed syllables
    iamb, iambus
    a metrical unit with unstressed-stressed syllables
    anapaest, anapest
    a metrical unit with unstressed-unstressed-stressed syllables
    a metrical unit with unstressed-stressed-unstressed syllables (e.g., `remember')
    a metrical unit with stressed-unstressed syllables
    a metrical unit with stressed-stressed syllables
    dibrach, pyrrhic
    a metrical unit with unstressed-unstressed syllables
    type of:
    poetic rhythm, prosody, rhythmic pattern
    (prosody) a system of versification
  6. verb
    stamp with a meter indicating the postage
    meter the mail”
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    type of:
    affix a stamp to
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