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
Origin of CALIPER
alteration of caliber
First Known Use: 1588
First Known Use of CALIPER
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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