atomic clock


: a precision clock that depends for its operation on an electrical oscillator regulated by the natural vibration frequencies of an atomic system (such as a beam of cesium atoms)

Examples of atomic clock in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web So an atomic clock on the moon would go at a faster pace than an atomic clock here on Earth. Caralin Nunes, The Arizona Republic, 24 Apr. 2024 So atomic clocks were installed at many of the locations, and exact GPS measurements were built up over time. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 27 Mar. 2024 But many real-life American households were not so easily convinced, and shelter salesmen routinely went bust, even as the atomic clock ticked close to midnight. Thomas Bishop, Baltimore Sun, 13 May 2024 When the time plotted by Earth’s movement approaches one second out of sync with the time measured by atomic clocks, scientists around the world coordinate to stop atomic clocks for exactly one second, at 11:59:59 pm on June 30 or Dec. 31, to allow astronomical clocks to catch up. Michael E. Bakich, Discover Magazine, 29 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for atomic clock 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'atomic clock.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1924, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of atomic clock was in 1924

Dictionary Entries Near atomic clock

Cite this Entry

“Atomic clock.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

atomic clock

: an extremely exact clock that depends for its operation on the natural vibrations of atoms (as of cesium)

More from Merriam-Webster on atomic clock

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