-meter Also -metre.
Measuring instrument; unit of measurement.
[Greek metron, measure; -metrēs, measurer.]
There are several hundred terms in -meter for various kinds of measuring instrument, a few of the more common of which are in the list below. The general term meter refers to any device that measures and records the quantity, degree, or rate of something.
Terms in -metre refer to units of measurement based on the metre: centimetre, kilometre. Forms such as kilometer and centimeter are the equivalent US spellings.
The words diameter (Greek dia, across), geometer, a person skilled in geometry (Greek gē, earth, because the first were land surveyors), and perimeter (Greek peri-, around) come from the same Greek root. The ending also appears in a set of words for lines of verse containing a specified number of metrical feet, as in hexameter (Greek hex, six), tetrameter (Greek tetra-, four), or octameter (Greek oktō, eight).
Examples of words in -meter
|altimeter||altitude||Latin altus, high|
|barometer||atmospheric pressure||Greek baros, weight|
|calorimeter||heat involved in a chemical reaction||Latin calor, heat|
|dosimeter||absorbed doses of ionizing radiation||English dose|
|interferometer||a device that uses the interaction of two or more waves of the same frequency to measure wavelength||English interfere|
|potentiometer||electromotive force using potential difference||English potential|
|radiometer||the intensity or force of radiation||Latin radius, a ray|
|spectrometer||spectra of electromagnetic radiation||Latin spectra, image, apparition|
|speedometer||the speed of a vehicle||English speed|
|sphygmomanometer||blood pressure||Greek sphugmos, pulse, plus manos, thin|
|tachometer||the working speed of an engine||Greek takhos, speed|
|thermometer||temperature||Greek thermē, heat|
|voltmeter||electric potential in volts||English volt|