\ 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 out mete 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 The intentionally campy series follows her return to her hometown of Purgatory to mete out justice against reincarnated demons called Revenants. Kathy Passero, cleveland, "‘Wynonna Earp’ returns to Syfy | How to watch, live stream, TV channel, time," 5 Mar. 2021 There's the scientific side, with its crash testing and crash-prevention assessments, and the media side to mete out public praise—or, as the situation warrants, shame. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "IIHS Top Safety Pick Prize Goes to Record Number of Vehicles for 2021," 26 Feb. 2021 The goal, according to lawyers and others supportive of such efforts, is to mete out some form of punishment for those who helped undermine confidence in the election results and fueled the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Rosalind S. Helderman, Anchorage Daily News, "Impeachment is over, but other efforts to reckon with Trump’s post-election chaos have just begun," 22 Feb. 2021 The in-demand exhibition lives in a fairly tight gallery space, requiring the museum to offer only 80 tickets per hour and to carefully mete out how many people are allowed inside at once. New York Times, "Is Seeing That Renoir Essential? In the Pandemic, Cities Differ," 2 Feb. 2021 The Trump administration was required by law to mete out some sanctions on Turkey for the S-400 transaction. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, "Trump administration sanctions Turkey, a NATO ally, over its purchase of Russian missile defense system," 15 Dec. 2020 But that doesn’t mean the court’s conservative majority might not mete out some substantial harm. Simon Lazarus, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court’s Obamacare Bait and Switch," 16 Nov. 2020 Until then, however, those who teach students and mete out discipline will have to navigate an uncertain, constantly shifting educational landscape. Kathleen Foody, The Christian Science Monitor, "What happens to classroom rules when school is at home?," 13 Oct. 2020 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 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

16 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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