au·​di·​om·​e·​ter | \ ˌȯ-dē-ˈä-mə-tər How to pronounce audiometer (audio) \

Definition of audiometer

: an instrument used in measuring the acuity of hearing

Other Words from audiometer

audiometric \ ˌȯ-​dē-​ō-​ˈme-​trik How to pronounce audiometer (audio) \ adjective
audiometry \ ˌȯ-​dē-​ˈä-​mə-​trē How to pronounce audiometer (audio) \ noun

First Known Use of audiometer

1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for audiometer

Latin audī-, stem of audīre "to hear" + -o- + -meter — more at audible entry 1

Note: The word audiometer was used for a device developed by the British inventor David Edward Hughes (1831-1900), described by him in "On an Inductions-Current Balance, and Experimental Researches made therewith," Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, no. 196, May 15, 1879, vol. 29, pp. 56-65. Though the word is used by Hughes (p. 58), it was coined by the British physician Benjamin Ward Richardson (1828-96), who concludes a report following Hughes' article in the same journal ("Some Researches with Professor Hughes' New Instrument for the Measurement of Hearing; the Audiometer," pp. 65-70) with the following: "… the world of science … is under a deep debt of gratitude to Professor Hughes for his simple and beautiful instrument, which I have christened the audimeter, or less correctly but more euphoniously, the audiometer." Presumably Richardson felt that -i- was a more Latinate linking vowel than -o- following a Latin element, though the precedents in classical Latin for 4th-conjugation verbs in compounds are limited (but cf. the derivatives fulcīmen, fulcīmentum "prop, support" from fulcīre "to support" and the hapax in Petronius fulcipedia—with -ī-?—"one supported by a foot"). But -o- as a universal linking element in Greco-Latin compounds was most likely becoming general usage in the 19th century.

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The first known use of audiometer was in 1879

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Cite this Entry

“Audiometer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for audiometer


au·​di·​om·​e·​ter | \ ˌȯd-ē-ˈäm-ət-ər How to pronounce audiometer (audio) \

Medical Definition of audiometer

: an instrument used in measuring the acuity of hearing

called also acoumeter

More from Merriam-Webster on audiometer Encyclopedia article about audiometer


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