acoustic thermometry


Definition of acoustic thermometry

: a technique for measuring the temperature of something (such as a region of ocean water) by measuring how long it takes sound to travel through it Because sound travels faster in warm water than in cold, this method, called acoustic thermometry, could provide a precise method of taking the ocean’s temperature, they reasoned.— R. Monastersky, Science News, 29 Aug. 1998

Note: The speed of sound through a substance changes in a predictable way as the temperature of the substance changes. By timing a pulse of sound as it passes through a substance, it is possible to determine exactly how warm or cold the substance is.

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Other Words from acoustic thermometry

acoustic thermometer noun
The acoustic thermometer works by transmitting sound waves along a gas-filled tube from a speaker at one end to a microphone at the other. By measuring the amount of time it takes the sound waves to travel along the tube, the temperature can be calculated. Advanced Materials & Processes, 1 July 2011

First Known Use of acoustic thermometry

1962, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About acoustic thermometry

Time Traveler for acoustic thermometry

Time Traveler

The first known use of acoustic thermometry was in 1962

See more words from the same year

Statistics for acoustic thermometry

Cite this Entry

“Acoustic thermometry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!