1 of 2


meted; meting

transitive verb

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


2 of 2


: boundary
metes and bounds

Examples of mete in a Sentence

Verb determined to mete out an appropriate punishment for the CEO guilty of insider trading
Recent Examples on the Web
Execution is a universal punishment for treason; only barbarians violate civilized norms in meting it out. Daniel Foster, National Review, 30 Nov. 2023 In many cases between 1995 and 2000, juries meted lengthy sentences under the mistaken belief that prisoners could earn early parole with good behavior. Brad Townsend, Dallas News, 27 July 2023 Less of it fell as snow, which was a problem because slowly melting snowpack acted as a natural reservoir — a much more capacious one than anything the state could possibly build to replace it — safely storing winter wetness and then meting it out in the dry summer. Brooke Jarvis, New York Times, 31 May 2023 Advocates say understanding transfers is key to understanding how discipline is being meted out to California students. Tara García Mathewson, Los Angeles Times, 4 Apr. 2023 The military justice system was initially formed as a way to discipline soldiers during times of war, giving commanders unfettered authority to mete out discipline and punishment. Vianna Davila, ProPublica, 13 Feb. 2023 So what it's forced us to do is talk about the kind of consequences that society is not going to mete out to Joe Goldberg necessarily. Anhar Karim, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2023 The muted response from party leaders suggested that so far they were prepared to mete out little, if any, punishment to an incoming lawmaker who, while deceiving voters, flipped an open seat formerly held by a Democrat and helped Republicans secure their razor-thin House majority. Luke Broadwater,, 27 Dec. 2022 And Biden ordered the last US troops to leave by the end of this month, braving withering criticism as thousands of Afghans who had supported the US presence scrambled to get out before the Taliban could fully assume power -- and possibly mete out vengeance. Richard Galant, CNN, 22 Aug. 2021
Portuguese Bend residents generally favor a system more in tune with metes and bounds, a mapping method that uses physical landmarks such as trees, walls and roads to measure parcels. Jack Flemmingstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 6 Mar. 2023 But watching him and Kayce and Beth and Rip mete out frontier justice can be uncomfortably satisfying, an atavistic thrill. Sridhar Pappu, The Atlantic, 10 Nov. 2022 This is an interesting linguistic development, given that the etymology of the word meat can be traced back to the old English mete, which denoted foodstuffs more generally. Sarah Garland, The New Republic, 5 Oct. 2021 Common sense would dictate asking for nothing short of the moon back, especially with the leverage mete running. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, 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, 10 Jan. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mete.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


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


15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near mete

Cite this Entry

“Mete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


meted; meting
: to distribute in a fair or proper manner
mete out rewards

More from Merriam-Webster on mete

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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