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# What is a Newton meter?

There are three different things that the phrase "Newton meter", all of them related to the unit of force called a "Newton":

A unit of energy also known as a Joule. When a force of 1 Newton is applied on an object for a distance of 1 meter then 1 Joule of energy is used. It is the result of a vector calculation involving the meter (a unit of length in the SI system) and the Newton (the unit of force in the SI system).

A unit of torque. (Turning force.) When a force of 1 Newton is applied at a distance of 1 meter from the pivot at right angle to the radius then a torque of 1 Newton Meter is present. It is the metric equivalent of lb ft.
A "Newton-metre" is a unit of torque or turning force. As described above it 1 Newton-metre (Nm) is equal to the turning force produced by 1N of force acting at right angles 1 m from the pivot point. It is a vector quantity.

A device that measures force. It is a meter that measures Newtons.

A "Newton meter" is a device that measures force. The most common design is a cylinder containing a spring inside. Objects can be attached to the spring by a hook. The force acting caused by the object causes the spring to expand. A gauge on the cylinder then shows how much force is acting on the meter.

You should also note that the Joule is a scalar quantity while the Newton-metre is a vector which is why we don't use Nm when referring to energy, only when referring to Torque or Moment of a Force. Torque and turning force are not quite the same thing. A torque is the turning effect of a couple while a moment is the turning effect of a force.
"Newton" is a force. "Meter" is a distance. "Newton-meter" is 'work' or 'energy'.

It's the amount of work you do, or the amount of energy it takes, to push with

a force of 1 newton, and keep pushing until you've moved 1 meter.

In English units:

It's the amount of energy it takes to lift 11.8 ounces 1 foot straight up off the table.