\ ˈmēt How to pronounce mete (audio) \
meted; meting

Definition of mete

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to give out by measure : dole out She realized the stern retribution which justice metes to the murderer.— Edgar Rice Burroughs usually used with outmete out punishment
2 archaic : measure



Definition of mete (Entry 2 of 2)

: boundary metes and bounds

Examples of mete in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There's obviously something cathartic about seeing these victims turn the tables and unite to mete out justice. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Love Fraud' feels like the docuseries version of a Lifetime movie," 28 Aug. 2020 This is the fourth special session that the Utah Legislature has convened in five months, as lawmakers have returned repeatedly to adjust the state budget and mete out federal funds during the coronavirus crisis. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah lawmakers approve new coronavirus aid, elections changes in special session," 21 Aug. 2020 And so, armed men who are trained to mete out physical punishment in the name of keeping the order are sent into situations that don’t require that level of intervention. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "The Solution to Police Murder Is Not More Money," 17 June 2020 The punishment online mobs can mete out is often disproportionate. Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic, "This Social Media Mob Was Good," 28 May 2020 An initial investigation suggested the massacre came in retaliation for the capture of three members of a residual FARC front by members of the indigenous guard unit, community leaders who mete out justice in their territories. Washington Post, "Slaying of 5 indigenous leaders shocks Colombians," 30 Oct. 2019 Countries would be free to decide how to mete out the rights., "U.S. Cases Increase 2%; New York Beaches to Reopen: Virus Update," 3 June 2019 As Avatar, she's taken it upon herself to mete out justice to criminals, which leads to a reunion with a familiar face from the first book. Christian Holub,, "Read an exciting excerpt from new Avatar: The Last Airbender YA novel The Shadow of Kyoshi," 5 May 2020 Now, small businesses are suing banks tasked with meteing out the loans such as JPMorgan and Wells Fargo, claiming that banks prioritized the most lucrative deals (lenders are paid between 1% to 5% in fees to process PPP loans). Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "The chaos behind SoftBank’s scrapped $3 billion deal," 21 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Common sense would dictate asking for nothing short of the moon back, especially with the leverage mete running. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Keeler: Will Nolan Arenado be the straw that breaks Jeff Bridich’s back?," 22 Dec. 2019 It has not yet been snared in a catalog of designations and coordinates, of metes and bounds. Barry Lopez, Harper's magazine, "Polar Light," 10 Jan. 2019 It has not yet been snared in a catalog of designations and coordinates, of metes and bounds. Barry Lopez, Harper's magazine, "Polar Light," 10 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mete.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of mete


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mete


Middle English, from Old English metan; akin to Old High German mezzan to measure, Latin modus measure, Greek medesthai to be mindful of


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin meta

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mete

Time Traveler for mete

Time Traveler

The first known use of mete was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for mete

Last Updated

11 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mete


\ ˈmēt How to pronounce mete (audio) \
meted; meting

Kids Definition of mete

: to distribute as deserved The judge will mete out punishment.

More from Merriam-Webster on mete

Nglish: Translation of mete for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mete for Arabic Speakers

Comments on mete

What made you want to look up mete? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!