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“Meter” vs. “Metre”: How to Choose the Right Word

Updated on June 10, 2024Commonly Confused Words

What’s the difference between meter and metre?

Meter and metre both refer to the same unit of measurement, but the usage depends on the regional spelling conventions. Meter is used in American English, while metre is preferred in British English. When to use meter vs. metre depends on your audience’s location. For example, “The length of the room is ten meters” is used in the US, while “The length of the room is ten metres” is used in the UK.

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How do you use meter in a sentence?

When to use meter in a sentence is often determined by the context and the audience’s familiarity with American English.

Examples of meter in a sentence

  • The meter shows the distance the car has traveled.
  • The band played a song with a fast meter.
  • The electric meter needs to be read every month.

How do you use metre in a sentence?

When to use metre in a sentence is often determined by the context and the audience’s familiarity with British English.

Examples of metre in a sentence

  • The metre reading shows how much electricity you’ve used.
  • She ran the 100-metre dash in record time.
  • They measured the garden’s width in metres.

Meter vs. metre definition, parts of speech, and pronunciation

Meter (noun): A device that measures and records the quantity, degree, or rate of something.

Example: The water meter was installed last week.

Metre (noun): The fundamental unit of length in the metric system, equal to 100 centimeters.

Example: The race was 5 kilometres long, which is 5000 metres.

Pronunciation: Meter: /ˈmiː.tər/ (American English), Metre: /ˈmiː.tər/ (British English)

Unusual rule: Meter and metre can also refer to the rhythmic structure in poetry and music, though this usage is more commonly spelled as meter regardless of region.

Meter vs. metre in a nutshell

In summary, meter and metre are variants of the same term, distinguished primarily by regional spelling conventions—American English uses meter, while British English uses metre. Each term is used to measure length and in contexts involving devices that record measurements. Understanding when to use meter vs metre is essential for clear communication and depends on your audience’s regional preference. Utilize resources like Commonly Confused Words and What Are Homophones to enhance your writing precision.

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