# metric

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## noun

met·​ric
1
metrics plural : a part of prosody that deals with metrical (see metrical sense 1) structure
the analytical study of metricT. 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

metric

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

-metric

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## adjective combining form

variants or -metrical
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
Numbers and metrics have become a codex through which everything is processed: Rotten Tomatoes percentages, box-office sales, Spotify streams, Instagram followers now play an outsize role in determining what is culturally valuable. Ali Breland, The Atlantic, 20 Aug. 2024 Through the analysis of game footage and performance metrics, AI can identify patterns and trends that may not be viewable by the human eye and provide recommendations for best approaches to beat the opponent. Kathleen Walch, Forbes, 16 Aug. 2024
The metric displays transit times based on a trailing two-week median and excludes premium services. Glenn Taylor, Sourcing Journal, 24 July 2024 The metric strips out the impact of pricing and foreign currency to reflect demand. Amelia Lucas, CNBC, 23 July 2024

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

## Word History

Etymology

Noun

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; (senses 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

First Known Use

Noun

1760, in the meaning defined at sense 1

1862, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of metric was in 1760

metric

-metric

## Cite this Entry

“Metric.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/metric. Accessed 7 Sep. 2024.

## Kids Definition

metric

met·​ric
ˈme-trik
1
: of, relating to, or based on the metric system

## Medical Definition

metric

met·​ric
: of, relating to, or using the metric system
a metric study