met·​ric | \ ˈme-trik How to pronounce metric (audio) \

Definition of metric

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 metrics plural : a part of prosody that deals with metrical (see metrical sense 1) structure the analytical study of metric— T. S. Eliot
2 : a standard of measurement no metric exists that can be applied directly to happinessScientific Monthly
3 : a mathematical function that associates a real nonnegative number analogous to distance with each pair of elements in a set such that the number is zero only if the two elements are identical, the number is the same regardless of the order in which the two elements are taken, and the number associated with one pair of elements plus that associated with one member of the pair and a third element is equal to or greater than the number associated with the other member of the pair and the third element



Definition of metric (Entry 2 of 3)

: of, relating to, or using the metric system a metric study
variants: or -metrical

Definition of -metric (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, employing, or obtained by (such) a meter galvanometric
2 : of or relating to (such) an art, process, or science of measuring geometrical

Did you know?

The metric system was invented in France in the years following the French Revolution, and a version of it is now used in most of the world to measure distance, weight, and volume. Basic metric units include the kilogram (the basic unit of weight), the liter (the basic unit of volume), and of course the meter (the basic unit of length—see below). Metric—or more often metrical—can also refer to the basic underlying rhythm of songs and poetry. So while the scientists' measurements are usually metric, the poets' are usually metrical.

Examples of metric in a Sentence

Noun according to the usual metrics by which we judge fiction, this novel is an utter failure Adjective The metric unit of energy is the “joule.”
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And to its credit, as previously announced, the company has abandoned its previous metric — which counted the number of Netflix accounts that watched a title for at least 2 minutes — in favor of aggregate viewing hours. Todd Spangler, Variety, 16 Nov. 2021 The most compelling statistical case for the Bills as the best and most well-rounded team in the NFL comes from Football Outsiders' DVOA metric, which measures team efficiency. Nicholas Mcgee, Forbes, 20 Oct. 2021 Meteorologist can gauge how active a season has been through a metric called ACE, or Accumulated Cyclone Energy. Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2021 Including this extremely advanced baseball metric: MOJO. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Oct. 2021 The sales metric most used is gross merchandise value (GMV): the total monetary value of products and services confirmed on an e-commerce platform. Jonathan Cheng, Fortune, 11 Nov. 2021 For platform releases, the key metric is per-theater average rather than overall box office tally. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 14 Oct. 2021 In contrast, the key metric for evaluating operational success on the operating fleet level is average flight hours per pilot rather than mission readiness. Oliver Wyman, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 In this weeks-long election, the first metric that offers some clues about where things are headed is the partisan composition of the electorate taking part in the recall. Maeve Reston, CNN, 2 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Fielding Independent Pitching metric removes results on balls in play and focuses solely on the pitcher's controllable outcomes: strikeouts, unintentional walks, hit-by-pitches and home runs. Evan Petzold, USA TODAY, 16 Nov. 2021 The Fielding Independent Pitching metric removes results on balls in play and focuses solely on the pitcher's controllable outcomes: strikeouts, unintentional walks, hit-by-pitches and home runs. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 15 Nov. 2021 Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Shiller developed the CAPE, and at least until recently, the metric proved to be one of the most reliable guides to the returns an investor would pocket five or 10 years hence. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 5 Nov. 2021 Still, the state set up the ICU metric as one key marker on how Illinois was faring during the pandemic. Joe Mahr,, 15 Sep. 2021 Amazon warehouse workers have said the metric limits their ability to take bathroom breaks and leads to unfair disciplinary actions. NBC News, 9 Sep. 2021 The track was digitally released a year later on Aug. 13, racking up 16,453 downloads to come in at No. 2 for metric, 7,840,975 streams to come in at No. 5, and also fared well in radio airplay (No. 6), video (No. 21), and karaoke (No. 13). Billboard Japan, Billboard, 26 Aug. 2021 When environmental and social health are pitted against economic growth, with money as the only metric, profiteers win., 20 Aug. 2021 Although the state’s number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 reached a 2½- month low of 190 last week, that metric has begun to increase again in recent days. Eliza Fawcett,, 3 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'metric.' 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 metric


1760, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1862, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for metric


metric "metrical art, prosody" (in part borrowed from Late Latin metrica —short for ars metrica "metrical art"— from feminine of Latin metricus "metrical, rhythmic," borrowed from Greek metrikós; in part borrowed from Greek metrikḗ —short for metrikḕ téchnē "metrical craft"— or metriká, from, respectively, feminine singular and neuter plural of metrikós "by measurement, metrical") + -ics; (sense 2-3) probably noun derivative of metric "of measurement," earliest in mathematical use, probably after German Metrik — more at metrical


borrowed from French métrique, from mètre meter entry 3 + -ique -ic entry 1

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Last Updated

30 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Metric.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for metric



English Language Learners Definition of metric

: of, relating to, or based on the metric system


met·​ric | \ ˈme-trik How to pronounce metric (audio) \

Kids Definition of metric

: of, relating to, or based on the metric system metric measurements


met·​ric | \ ˈme-trik How to pronounce metric (audio) \

Medical Definition of metric

: of, relating to, or using the metric system a metric study

Other Words from metric

metrically \ -​tri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce metric (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on metric

Nglish: Translation of metric for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of metric for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about metric


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