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 Many companies keep track of this key metric, but certainly not all do. Jon Miller, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 Operational results can’t justify anything close to the company’s $1-trillion market value, based on any kind of traditional stock-pricing metric. Russ Mitchellstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2022 With those victories, the Commodores moved into the top 75 of the NCAA's NET metric, moving Kentucky's earlier win in Nashville into the Quadrant 1 category. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, 12 Mar. 2022 Oats, though, noted how Alabama’s offensive efficiency ranked in the top 10 of KenPom before the Kentucky game and was on pace to be the program’s best in the history of that metric. Mike Rodak |, al, 9 Feb. 2022 The meaning of that metric isn’t the cleanest, even in the notoriously hard-to-measure podcast business. Nicholas Quah, Vulture, 17 Dec. 2021 This, Benner says, arguably makes Venus the best site for a near-term test of the molecular-complexity metric. Natalie Elliot, Scientific American, 23 Nov. 2021 The introduction of the MSI metric quickly helped with Facebook's engagement problem, according to an internal research note from November 6, 2019. Rachel Metz, CNN, 27 Oct. 2021 In other words, Tesla has been grossly overvalued for years by any traditional stock market metric. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 28 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Data thinning also benefits the central data center because the data value is extracted at a much lower latency metric and thus more timely action can be taken. David Flower, Forbes, 20 May 2022 Over the last week, that metric has risen from 2.6% to 3.5% in L.A. County. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, 19 May 2022 Wall Street has viewed Musk’s sudden latching on to questioning the sub-5% spam/bot metric as an attempt to either bail on the $44 billion acquisition or to drive the deal price down. Todd Spangler, Variety, 17 May 2022 Until now, the adjacent number has always represented the engine's metric displacement in three-digit shorthand. Dan Edmunds, Car and Driver, 16 May 2022 By one, and only one, metric has Madison Cawthorn succeeded in his first term in Congress — gaining notoriety. The Editors, National Review, 16 May 2022 And for college enrollment, a metric the state did not set goals for, all three districts saw declines. Christopher Huffaker,, 15 May 2022 The producer-price index, another inflation metric, rose by an annual rate of 11% in April. Anna Hirtenstein, WSJ, 12 May 2022 In fact, hospitalizations are rising to nearly 20,000 per day, up 20 percent over the past two weeks, according to an NBC News analysis of Health and Human Services data — but officials say that metric is becoming less of a reliable indicator. Berkeley Lovelace Jr., NBC News, 12 May 2022 See More

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.

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

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Metric.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for metric


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

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


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