noun \ˈka-lə-pər\

: a tool that has two narrow legs which can be adjusted to measure the thickness or width of something

callipers : metal devices that are worn to support legs that have been weakened by injury or disease

Full Definition of CALIPER

a :  any of various measuring instruments having two usually adjustable arms, legs, or jaws used especially to measure diameter or thickness —usually used in plural <a pair of calipers>
b :  a device for pressing a frictional material (as a brake pad) against the sides of a rotating wheel or disc
:  thickness especially of paper, cardboard, or a tree

Illustration of CALIPER

Origin of CALIPER

alteration of caliber
First Known Use: 1588


caliperedcaliper·ing \-p(ə-)riŋ\

Definition of CALIPER

transitive verb
:  to measure by or as if by calipers

First Known Use of CALIPER



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Instrument that consists of two adjustable legs or jaws for measuring the dimensions of material parts. Spring calipers have an adjusting screw and nut; firm-joint calipers use friction at the joint to hold the legs unmoving. Outside calipers measure thicknesses and outside diameters of objects; inside calipers measure hole diameters and distances between surfaces. Hermaphrodite calipers, which have one leg bent inward and one straight leg ending in a sharp point, are used for scribing lines at a specified distance from a flat or curved surface. See also micrometer.


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