barometer


ba·rom·e·ter

noun \bə-ˈrä-mə-tər\

: an instrument that is used to measure air pressure and predict changes in the weather

: something that is used to indicate or predict something

Full Definition of BAROMETER

1
:  an instrument for determining the pressure of the atmosphere and hence for assisting in forecasting weather and for determining altitude
2
:  something that indicates fluctuations (as in public opinion) <housing sales and other economic barometers>
3
:  standard, test <a barometer to measure high school talent — Jeff Fellenzer>
baro·met·ric \ˌber-ə-ˈme-trik, ˌba-rə-\ adjective
baro·met·ri·cal·ly \-tri-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
ba·rom·e·try \bə-ˈrä-mə-trē\ noun

Examples of BAROMETER

  1. <a legendary Broadway flop that has subsequently become the barometer by which failure in the theater is judged>

First Known Use of BAROMETER

circa 1666

barometer

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Device used to measure atmospheric pressure. Because atmospheric pressure changes with distance above or below sea level, a barometer can also be used to measure altitude. In the mercury barometer, atmospheric pressure balances a column of mercury, the height of which can be precisely measured. Normal atmospheric pressure is about 14.7 lb per square inch, equivalent to 30 in. (760 mm) of mercury. Other liquids can be used in barometers, but mercury is the most common because of its great density. An aneroid barometer indicates pressure on a dial using a needle that is mechanically linked to a partially evacuated chamber, which responds to pressure changes.

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