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-meter • comb. form 1. in names of measuring instruments: thermometer. 2. Prosody in nouns denoting lines of poetry with a specified number of feet or measures: hexameter.
-meter terminal el. in names of instruments for scientific measuring, the earliest of which (XVII) were adopted, partly through F., from modL. terms in -metrum (intended to repr. Gr. métron METRE1), e.g. barometer, thermometer, which are not, however, formed according to Gr. analogies. In XVIII and XIX hybrid formations came in, such as calorimeter, galvanometer, gasometer, taximeter. The corr. nouns of action end in -metry.
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