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See also: mėėt


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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English mete, from Old English (ge)mǣte (fitting). Related to Old High German māza (suitability) and Old Norse mǣtr (valuable). Compare to German gemäß (corresponding, matching).



meet (comparative meeter, superlative meetest)

  1. (rare) Proper; suitable; fit

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English meten, from Old English mētan (to meet, find, find out, fall in with, encounter, obtain), from Proto-Germanic *mōtijaną (to meet), from Proto-Indo-European *mōd-, *mad- (to come, meet). Cognate with Scots met, mete, meit (to meet), North Frisian mete (to meet), West Frisian moetsje (to meet), Dutch ontmoeten (to meet), Low German, möten (to meet), Danish møde (to meet), Swedish möta (to meet), Icelandic mæta (to meet). Related to moot.


meet (third-person singular simple present meets, present participle meeting, simple past and past participle met)

  1. (heading) Of individuals: to make personal contact.
    1. To come face to face with by accident; to encounter.
      Fancy meeting you here!  Guess who I met at the supermarket today?
      • 1899, Hughes Mearns, Antigonish:
        Yesterday, upon the stair / I met a man who wasn’t there / He wasn’t there again today / I wish, I wish he’d go away []
    2. To come face to face with someone by arrangement.
      Let's meet at the station at 9 o'clock.  Shall we meet at 8 p.m in our favorite chatroom?
      • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 10, in The China Governess[1]:
        With a little manœuvring they contrived to meet on the doorstep which was […] in a boiling stream of passers-by, hurrying business people speeding past in a flurry of fumes and dust in the bright haze.
    3. To get acquainted with someone.
      I'm pleased to meet you!  I'd like you to meet a colleague of mine.
      I met my husband through a mutual friend at a party. It wasn't love at first sight; in fact, we couldn't stand each other at first!
      • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, chapterI:
        Captain Edward Carlisle [] felt a curious sensation of helplessness seize upon him as he met her steady gaze, []; he could not tell what this prisoner might do. He cursed the fate which had assigned such a duty, cursed especially that fate which forced a gallant soldier to meet so superb a woman as this under handicap so hard.
    4. (Ireland) To French kiss someone.
  2. (heading) Of groups: to gather or oppose.
    1. To gather for a formal or social discussion.
      I met with them several times.  The government ministers met today to start the negotiations.
      • 1893, Walter Besant, The Ivory Gate, chapter III:
        At half-past nine on this Saturday evening, the parlour of the Salutation Inn, High Holborn, contained most of its customary visitors. [] In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for its own select circle, a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening, for a pipe and a cheerful glass.
    2. To come together in conflict.
      • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter lv, in Le Morte Darthur, book X:
        Sir said Epynegrys is þt the rule of yow arraunt knyghtes for to make a knyght to Iuste will he or nyll / As for that sayd Dynadan make the redy / for here is for me / And there with al they spored theyr horses & mett to gyders soo hard that Epynegrys smote doune sir Dynadan
      • John Milton (1608-1674)
        Weapons more violent, when next we meet, / May serve to better us and worse our foes.
      • 2013 June 7, Gary Younge, “Hypocrisy lies at heart of Manning prosecution”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 18:
        The dispatches [] also exposed the blatant discrepancy between the west's professed values and actual foreign policies. Having lectured the Arab world about democracy for years, its collusion in suppressing freedom was undeniable as protesters were met by weaponry and tear gas made in the west, employed by a military trained by westerners.
    3. (sports) To play a match.
      England and Holland will meet in the final.
  3. (heading) To make physical or perceptual contact.
    1. To converge and finally touch or intersect.
      The two streets meet at a crossroad half a mile away.
      • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, chapterI:
        Captain Edward Carlisle, soldier as he was, martinet as he was, felt a curious sensation of helplessness seize upon him as he met her steady gaze, her alluring smile; he could not tell what this prisoner might do.
    2. To touch or hit something while moving.
      The right wing of the car met the column in the garage, leaving a dent.
    3. To adjoin, be physically touching.
      The carpet meets the wall at this side of the room. The forest meets the sea along this part of the coast.
  4. To satisfy; to comply with.
    This proposal meets my requirements.  The company agrees to meet the cost of any repairs.
    • 2013 June 22, “Engineers of a different kind”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 70:
      Private-equity nabobs bristle at being dubbed mere financiers. [] Much of their pleading is public-relations bluster. Clever financial ploys are what have made billionaires of the industry’s veterans. “Operational improvement” in a portfolio company has often meant little more than promising colossal bonuses to sitting chief executives if they meet ambitious growth targets. That model is still prevalent today.
  5. To perceive; to come to a knowledge of; to have personal acquaintance with; to experience; to suffer.
    The eye met a horrid sight.  He met his fate.
    • Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
      Of vice or virtue, whether blest or curst, / Which meets contempt, or which compassion first.
Usage notes[edit]

In the sense "come face to face with someone by arrangement", meet is sometimes used with the preposition with in American English.

Derived terms[edit]