early 15c., "regular, systematic treatment of disease," from Latin methodus "way of teaching or going," from Greek methodos "scientific inquiry, method of inquiry, investigation," originally "pursuit, a following after," from meta "in pursuit or quest of" (see meta-) + hodos "a method, system; a way or manner" (of doing, saying, etc.), also "a traveling, journey," literally "a path, track, road," a word of uncertain origin (see Exodus).
Meaning "any way of doing anything, orderly regulation of conduct with a view to the attainment of an end" is from 1580s; that of "orderliness, regularity" is from 1610s. Meaning "a system or complete sent of rules for attaining an end" is from 1680s. In reference to a theory of acting associated with Russian director Konstantin Stanislavski (1863-1938), it is attested from 1923.
"with," a preposition formerly in common use but now entirely superseded by with (except in the compound midwife) from Old English mid "with, in conjunction with, in company with, together with, among, at the same time as," and in part from cognate Old Norse mið, from Proto-Germanic *medthi- (source also of Old Saxon mid, Old Frisian mith "together with, with the help of," Dutch met, Old High German and German mit, Danish med, Gothic miþ "with"), from PIE *meti-, suffixed form of root *me- "in the middle" (compare meta-).
"the science of the inward and essential nature of things," 1560s, plural of Middle English metaphisik, methaphesik (late 14c.), "branch of speculation which deals with the first causes of things," from Medieval Latin metaphysica, neuter plural of Medieval Greek (ta) metaphysika, from Greek ta meta ta physika "the (works) after the Physics," title of the 13 treatises which traditionally were arranged after those on physics and natural sciences in Aristotle's writings. See meta- + physics.
The name was given c.70 B.C.E. by Andronicus of Rhodes, and was a reference to the customary ordering of the books, but it was misinterpreted by Latin writers as meaning "the science of what is beyond the physical." The word originally was used in English in the singular; the plural form predominated after 17c., but singular made a comeback late 19c. in certain usages under German influence. From 17c. also sometimes "philosophy in general," especially "the philosophical study of the mind, psychology."
late 15c., "any atmospheric phenomenon," from Old French meteore (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin meteorum (nominative meteora), from Greek ta meteōra "the celestial phenomena, things in heaven above," plural of meteōron, literally "thing high up," noun use of neuter of meteōros (adj.) "high up, raised from the ground, hanging," from meta "by means of" (see meta-) + -aoros "lifted, lifted up, suspended, hovering in air," related to aeirein "to raise" (from PIE root *wer- (1) "to raise, lift, hold suspended").
Specific sense of "fireball in the sky, shooting star" is attested from 1590s. Atmospheric phenomena were formerly classified as aerial meteors (wind), aqueous meteors (rain, snow, hail), luminous meteors (aurora, rainbows), and igneous meteors (lightning, shooting stars). All the other senses have fallen away. When still in space beyond the atmosphere it is a meteoroid; when fallen to earth it is a meteorite. A periodically recurring fall of them (usually associated with a comet) is a meteor shower (by 1853).
"figure of speech by which a characteristic of one object is assigned to another, different but resembling it or analogous to it; comparison by transference of a descriptive word or phrase," late 15c., methaphoris (plural), from French metaphore (Old French metafore, 13c.) and directly from Latin metaphora, from Greek metaphora "a transfer," especially of the sense of one word to a different word, literally "a carrying over," from metapherein "to transfer, carry over; change, alter; to use a word in a strange sense," from meta "over, across" (see meta-) + pherein "to carry, bear" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children").
But a metaphor is no argument, though it be sometimes the gunpowder to drive one home and imbed it in the memory. [James Russell Lowell, "Democracy," 1884]
It is a great thing, indeed, to make a proper use of the poetical forms, as also of compounds and strange words. But the greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor. It is the one thing that cannot be learnt from others; and it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity in dissimilars. [Aristotle, "Poetics," 1459a 3-8]
pertaining to a proposed meta-family of languages including Indo-European, Semitic, Altaic, and Dravidian, 1966 (Nostratian is from 1931), from Latin nostratis "of our country," from nostras "our countrymen," plural of nostrum, neuter of noster "our," from nos "we" (from PIE *nes- (2); see us).
by c. 1400, "a goal" (a sense now obsolete); late 15c. (Caxton) "a boundary, limit, boundary mark," from Old French mete "limit, bounds, frontier" and directly from Latin mēta "goal, boundary, post, pillar," which is of uncertain origin. Surviving only in plural, in the phrase metes and bounds (Anglo-Latin metis et bundis, early 14c.)
"to allot," Old English metan (West Saxon mæton), "to measure, ascertain the dimension or quantity of; measure out; compare; estimate the greatness of value of" (class V strong verb; past tense mæt, past participle meten), from Proto-Germanic *metana "to measure" (source also of Old Saxon metan, Old Frisian, Old Norse meta, Dutch meten, Old High German mezzan, German messen, Gothic mitan "to measure"), from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures." Meaning "distribute or apportion by measure" is from c. 1300 and is the surviving sense, used now exclusively with out. Related: Meted; meting.
Middle English mēten, from Old English metan "to find, find out; fall in with, encounter, come into the same place with; obtain," from Proto-Germanic *motjanan (source also of Old Norse mæta, Old Frisian meta, Old Saxon motian "to meet," Gothic gamotijan), from PIE root *mod- "to meet, assemble." Related to Old English gemot "meeting."
By c. 1300, of things, "to come into physical contact with, join by touching or uniting with;" also, of persons, "come together by approaching from the opposite direction; come into collision with, combat." Abstractly, "to come upon, encounter (as in meet with approval, meet one's destiny) by late 14c. Sense of "come into conformity with, be or act in agreement with" (as in meet expectations) is by 1690s.
Intransitive sense, of people, "to come together" is from mid-14c.; of members of an organized body or society, "to assemble," by 1520s. Related: Met; meeting. To meet (someone) halfway in the figurative sense "make mutual and equal concessions to" is from 1620s. Well met as a salutation of compliment is by mid-15c.