Friday, May 16, 2014

Posted by Laurel Garver on Friday, May 16, 2014 5 comments
It seemed high time for another Phonics Friday post. Today we'll tackle a set of fraternal triplets of language, the homophones meat, meet and mete. Once again, I'll provide a definition, examples and mnemonic tricks to help you keep them straight.


Photo credit: mconnors from
meat (n.) flesh; the flesh of an animal used as food; the edible part or kernel of certain plant fruits (such as a walnut or coconut).

(n.) at the core of something; the most important part of something.


  • The chef's knife slipped, slicing the meat of his palm.
  • Rudy is vegan; the only meat he eats is coconut meat and other nut meats.
  • The meat of the issue is fairness and equality.
  • Your topic is very meaty. Can you keep the paper under ten pages?

Andy ate meat at all meals.


Photo credit: diggerdanno from
meet (v., trans.) met, meeting -  to encounter or come into contact; to become acquainted;  to gather with others, especially at a particular place and time; to come together for a common purpose

 - to provide for or pay fully; to cope with

- to conform precisely; to form a junction

- to have or receive a particular reaction

 meet (n.) - a gathering of athletes for a sports competition; a gathering to hunt foxes

meet (adj., archaic) - suitable; made to fit


  • I can't wait to meet Jane's twin brother.
  • Lois met us at noon to carpool to the swim meet.
  • His higher salary will meet all the family's financial needs.
  • Carlos thinks his candidate meets all the requirements best.
  • Thorn Road meets Blueberry Lane just past the post office.
  • His proposal was met with applause and cheers.
  • Phua placed third in 500 meter hurdles at the track meet.
  • Count Roderigo felt it meet that she should attend the coronation.

Bree is free to meet new people


Photo credit: cohdra from
mete (v., trans.) meted, meting -  to allot or dole out justice or punishment (usually with out)
- (archaic) to measure


  • The queen will mete out justice to the highwaymen terrorizing her land.
  • Harken the ways of yon fishmonger who metes not fair portions of his trout.

Pete theatened to mete out concrete shoes for any athlete who dares to compete.

The handful of archaic forms are where troubles arise most. "It is meet that I should thus mete your portion of the meat from our meet" is not a sentence you're likely to see outside historical fiction or fantasy.

Which of these new definitions were new to you? What other homophones tend to trip you up?


  1. "mete" is one that seldom pops up anymore. It should, but I gather it is as you said, archaic.

    1. I still hear the term "mete out justice" quite a bit, though it seems, like "on tenterhooks," to be one of those phrases people know the general gist of but not its exact definition.

  2. Mete is definitely a new word for me.

    1. I'm not surprised--it's rarely used on contemporary speech. I have seen it misspelled in fiction, however.

  3. I'd actually never come across "mete" before either, as far as I know. Very interesting! Thanks for posting :)