\ 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 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 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 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for mete

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for mete

Last Updated

28 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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

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