According to Dictionary.com, a newton meter is equivalent to the work done by a force of one unit when its point of application moves through a distance of 1 meter in the direction of the force. It is the standard unit of work energy in the International System of Units.
A newton meter is also known as a joule. The term was coined as a unit of electrical energy in 1882 to honor James Prescott Joule, an English physicist who contributed to the study of heat and electricity by evaluating the mechanical equivalent of heat. In medicine, the joule is also the International System unit of mechanical and thermal energy.