Definition of barometer
1 : an instrument for determining the pressure of the atmosphere and hence for assisting in forecasting weather and for determining altitude (see altitude 1a)
2 : something that indicates fluctuations (as in public opinion) housing sales and other economic barometers
barometricplay \ˌber-ə-ˈme-trik, ˌba-rə-\ adjective
barometricallyplay \-tri-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
barometryplay \bə-ˈrä-mə-trē\ noun
Examples of barometer in a Sentence
a legendary Broadway flop that has subsequently become the barometer by which failure in the theater is judged
Recent Examples of barometer from the Web
Pending sales contracts are a barometer of future purchases.
The Biennial has long served as a barometer of the most controversial issues of the day.
In 2017, the album is less of a barometer for the future stars who would become legends in the genre.
The spreads between heavy Dubai crude and lighter grades will be the key barometers, according to UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.
This seems more a barometer of frustration, though, than an endorsement of Hamas ideology.
The system could increase the public's interest and role in science, and betting odds could serve as a scientific barometer to guide mass media and public policy.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barometer'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
When did barometer become figurative?
Originally, barometer referred to an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure. Although this meaning is still very much in use, the word has taken on a strongly figurative sense denoting something that signals changes in conditions not necessarily related to the weather. This extended use of barometer has existed since at least the early 18th century, when Isaac Bickerstaff used it in an article in The Tatler: “I have an Engine in my Study, which is a Sort of a Political Barometer, or, to speak more intelligibly, a State Weather-Glass.”
First Known Use of barometer
BAROMETER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of barometer for English Language Learners
: an instrument that is used to measure air pressure and predict changes in the weather
: something that is used to indicate or predict something
BAROMETER Defined for Kids
Definition of barometer for Students
: an instrument that measures air pressure and is used to forecast changes in the weather
Seen and Heard
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