The Greek root metr and its variant meter mean “measure.” This podcast will help you “measure” up when it comes to knowing words with metr and meter in them!
There are so many things to measure, and so there are numerous systems of measurement. Humans have developed the metric system to “measure” length, volume, height, distance, speed … you name it! The mathematical system of geometry was originally made to “measure” the Earth. Trigonometry is also a mathematical system that determines the “measure” of different parts of a triangle. If an object possesses symmetry its corresponding opposite parts are of equal “measure,” that is, they are equidistant from each other. And a metronome “measures” the speed with which an instrument is being played.
Now let’s see how the variant spelling meter shows up in English vocabulary. It’s pretty obvious that one uses a meter stick to “measure” things; the meter is also a core or base unit of “measurement” in the metric system (along with the kilogram). The centimeter in turn “measures” 1/100 of a meter, whereas the millimeter “measures” 1/1000 of a meter. When it comes to geometry, the diameter of a circle is the “measurement” across the circle, whereas the perimeter of a polygon is the collective “measure” of its sides.
There are many different instruments that humans use as well to “measure” things. For instance, the thermometer “measures” temperature, an odometer “measures” how many miles or kilometers (or 1000 meters) a car has traveled, a speedometer “measures” how fast a vehicle is moving, whereas a pedometer is used to “measure” how far a person has gone on foot. And the distance that a person has hiked could be related to how nice the weather has been, suggested by the barometer, or “measurer” of air pressure, which is often a good indicator of how nice the weather is going to be … or not be!
Be careful! The Greek root metr can also mean “mother.” Luckily, the word metropolis or “mother” city is the only common word derived from this, its adjectival variant being metropolitan, that is, of a “mother” city.
So as not to make all the words that derive from the Greek roots metr and meter seem im"measure"able, this podcast shall now end. I think that you’ve had your fair “measure” of them anyway!
- metric: of a system of “measurement”
- geometry: originally a mathematical system created to “measure” the Earth
- trigonometry: a system of “measuring” the lengths of the sides of triangles using their angles
- symmetry: a similar “measurement” of two cut halves of an object
- metronome: a device that “measures” the speed of a musician’s playing of an instrument
- meter: the base unit of “measurement” in the metric system
- centimeter: a unit of “measurement” equivalent to 1/100 of a meter
- millimeter: a unit of “measurement” equivalent to 1/1000 of a meter
- diameter: the “measurement” across a circle
- perimeter: the “measurement” around a polygon, such as a quadrilateral or pentagon
- thermometer: an instrument that “measures” atmospheric heat
- odometer: an instrument that “measures” how far a vehicle has traveled
- kilometer: a “measurement” equivalent to 1000 meters
- speedometer: an instrument that “measures” the speed of a vehicle
- pedometer: an instrument that “measures” how far a person has walked
- barometer: an instrument that “measures” atmospheric pressure