verb (used with object), met·ed, met·ing.
- to distribute or apportion by measure; allot; dole (usually followed by out): to mete out punishment.
- Archaic. to measure.
- (usually foll by out) formal to distribute or allot (something, often unpleasant)
- poetic, dialect (to) measure
- rare a mark, limit, or boundary (esp in the phrase metes and bounds)
v.“to allot,” Old English metan “to measure, mete out; compare, estimate” (class V strong verb; past tense mæt, past participle meten), from Proto-Germanic *metanan (cf. Old Saxon metan, Old Frisian, Old Norse meta, Dutch meten, Old High German mezzan, German messen, Gothic mitan “to measure”), from PIE *med- “to take appropriate measures” (see medical). Used now only with out. Related: Meted; meting. n.“boundary,” now only in phrase metes and bounds, late 15c., from Old French mete “limit, bounds, frontier,” from Latin meta “goal, boundary, post, pillar.”