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.

Primary Meanings of meter

the basic unit of length adopted under the Systeme International d'Unites (approximately 1.094 yards)
measure with a meter
rhythm as given by division into parts of equal duration
stamp with a meter indicating the postage
Full Definitions of meter

n the basic unit of length adopted under the Systeme International d'Unites (approximately 1.094 yards)

m, metre
Type of:
metric linear unit
a linear unit of distance in metric terms

n 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

v measure with a meter

meter the flow of water”
Type of:
measure, quantify
express as a number or measure or quantity

n rhythm as given by division into parts of equal duration

metre, time
Type of:
the rhythmic property imparted by the accents and relative durations of notes in a piece of music

n (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse

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

v stamp with a meter indicating the postage

meter the mail”
Type of:
affix a stamp to

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