al·​tim·​e·​ter | \ al-ˈti-mə-tər How to pronounce altimeter (audio) , ˈal-tə-ˌmē-tər How to pronounce altimeter (audio) \

Definition of altimeter

: an instrument for measuring altitude especially : an aneroid barometer designed to register changes in atmospheric pressure accompanying changes in altitude

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Other Words from altimeter

altimetry \ al-​ˈti-​mə-​trē How to pronounce altimeter (audio) \ noun

Examples of altimeter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The helicopter achieved its planned altitude of 10 feet (3 meters), according to the altimeter data, and hovered for a full 30 seconds, appearing stable., 19 Apr. 2021 Most airplanes fly above Mean Sea Level altitudes (MSL), the altimeter would read 5,280 feet in Denver. John Cox, USA TODAY, 18 Dec. 2020 The device also boasts a barometric altimeter and accelerometer. Outdoor Life, 24 Feb. 2021 Those images, paired with observations from a LIDAR altimeter and an inertial measurement unit will help Ingenuity make decisions about where to fly and, ultimately, where to land. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 20 Feb. 2021 The lower sensor assembly contains an altimeter, navigation cameras, and a secondary IMU. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 20 Feb. 2021 The Series 6, which has a swim-proof design, also has better sleep tracking and comes with an always-on Retina display and altimeter. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, 23 Oct. 2020 Mitigation might include new altimeter designs and changes to 5G base stations, Lee Nguyen, an FAA official, said in a comment appended to the RTCA report. Helene Fouquet,, 7 Dec. 2020 Additionally, having all the aircraft using the same altimeter setting ensures proper vertical separation. John Cox, USA TODAY, 18 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'altimeter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of altimeter

1904, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for altimeter

borrowed from New Latin, from Latin altus "high" + -i- -i- + New Latin -meter -meter — more at altitude

Note: The word altimeter appears in the word lists of early Latin-English dictionaries, as the 1572 edition of Richard Huloet's dictionary and the 1578 edition of Thomas Cooper's Thesaurus Linguae Romanae et Britannicae (defined as "an instrument wherwith high things are mette"). These entries all appear to derive from versions of Papias' Latin dictionary Elementarium doctrinae rudimentum, composed in the 11th century, but reedited and expanded many times; the 1485 Venice edition enters "altimeter quo metiuntur altitudines - quoddam instrumentum est" ("altimeter by which heights are measured; it is a certain instrument"). Cf. New Latin scala altimetra, with vernacular equivalents, as Middle French eschelle altimetre, applied to the graduated scale of various instruments for measuring angular distance above the horizon. As a word used in the early 20th century for instruments employing barometric pressure to measure altitude, the word may be a recoinage from Latin altus and -meter.

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Time Traveler for altimeter

Time Traveler

The first known use of altimeter was in 1904

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Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Altimeter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of altimeter

: an instrument used for measuring the altitude of something (such as an airplane or a mountain)

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