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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Others invoked Bible verses and a higher power, with one warning the governing board that God would mete out justice in the afterlife. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez And Isaac Stanley-becker, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Nov. 2022 Supporters of the board, to be appointed by the mayor and city council, say its ability to override the police chief and directly mete out punishment could be a game changer. Emmanuel Felton, Washington Post, 26 Sep. 2022 If a prosecutor levels the habitual offender charge, assuming the prior convictions meet the criteria, the life sentence is mandatory — a judge has no option but to mete out the punishment. Madeline Buckley, Chicago Tribune, 14 Sep. 2022 The Republican candidates have been united in running on politically divisive concerns about what students learn about race and history in schools and say that teachers must be allowed to mete out harsher discipline to students. Yana Kunichoff, The Arizona Republic, 2 Aug. 2022 CEOs have the power to mete out punishments and benefits. Lynne Curry | Alaska Workplace, Anchorage Daily News, 9 May 2022 This collaboration can help mete out a plan, determine who will be responsible for what, and what sub-teams might collaborate on which details. Peter High, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 The Academy, meanwhile, is still trying to figure out what punishment, if any, to mete out. Andy Meek, BGR, 29 Mar. 2022 Society hasn’t benefited from the exemptions, which mete out justice to those who can afford to lobby the state Legislature—and continue to prioritize the interests of small groups of locals over worthy statewide policy objectives. Chris Carr, WSJ, 9 Mar. 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 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 See More

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.

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 6 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



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

More from Merriam-Webster on mete

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