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Meter Definition

Poetry Definition of Meter

The measured arrangement of words in poetry, as by accentual rhythm, syllabic quantity, or the number of syllables in a line. The definitive pattern established for a verse (such as iambic pentameter).



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Standard Definition

[n] any of various measuring instruments for measuring a quantity
[n] rhythm as given by division into parts of equal time
[n] (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse
[n] the basic unit of length adopted under the System International d'Unites (approximately 1.094 yards)
[v] measure with a meter; "meter the flow of water"
[v] stamp with a meter indicating the postage; "meter the mail"


beat, cadence, m, measure, metre, time

Misc. Definitions

\-me"ter\ [L. metrum measure, or the allied Gr. ?. See {Meter} rhythm.] A suffix denoting that by which anything is measured; as, barometer, chronometer, dynamometer.
\Me"ter\, n. [From {Mete} to measure.]
1. One who, or that which, metes or measures. See {Coal-meter}.
2. An instrument for measuring, and usually for recording automatically, the quantity measured. {Dry meter}, a gas meter having measuring chambers, with flexible walls, which expand and contract like bellows and measure the gas by filling and emptying. {W?t meter}, a gas meter in which the revolution of a chambered drum in water measures the gas passing through it.
\Me"ter\, n. A line above or below a hanging net, to which the net is attached in order to strengthen it.
\Me"ter\, Metre \Me"tre\, n. [OE. metre, F. m[`e]tre, L. metrum, fr. Gr. ?; akin to Skr. m[=a] to measure. See {Mete} to measure.]
1. Rhythmical arrangement of syllables or words into verses, stanzas, strophes, etc.; poetical measure, depending on number, quantity, and accent of syllables; rhythm; measure; verse; also, any specific rhythmical arrangements; as, the Horatian meters; a dactylic meter. The only strict antithesis to prose is meter. --Wordsworth.
2. A poem. [Obs.] --Robynson (More's Utopia).
3. A measure of length, equal to 39.37 English inches, the standard of linear measure in the metric system of weights and measures. It was intended to be, and is very nearly, the ten millionth part of the distance from the equator to the north pole, as ascertained by actual measurement of an arc of a meridian. See {Metric system}, under {Metric}. {Common meter} (Hymnol.), four iambic verses, or lines, making a stanza, the first and third having each four feet, and the second and fourth each three feet; -- usually indicated by the initials C.M. {Long meter} (Hymnol.), iambic verses or lines of four feet each, four verses usually making a stanza; -- commonly indicated by the initials L. M. {Short meter} (Hymnol.), iambic verses or lines, the first, second, and fourth having each three feet, and the third four feet. The stanza usually consists of four lines, but is sometimes doubled. Short meter is indicated by the initials S. M.

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