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
Aces-per-service-points-won would, of course, be a better barometer.
Indeed, the state’s income-tax revenue (the yellow bars in the graph below) tracks capital gains (the red line) so closely that Connecticut’s tax coffers are essentially a barometer of the health of financial markets.
Regardless of the need to improve, Juan Carlos Osorio remains the right man for the job, and this tournament shouldn’t be used as the barometer in which he is assessed.
Quarterly scans (and the waiting that goes with them) have been the barometer of this journey for nearly half a decade.
Interceptions aren't the only barometer of good cornerback play, but as Darius Slay has emerged as one of the better cover men in the NFL, the one knock on his game continues to be a lack of takeaways.
Because so much of the crypto-economy depended on fast money transfers in and out of the system, Shrem’s company became a barometer of the industry.
Hedge funds, which had bought heavily into OPEC’s output restraint deal at the end of last year, are now more intent on testing the pain threshold of U.S. shale producers, with the credit markets also starting to act as a barometer of stress again.
Even so, many of the barometers the Fed monitors most closely have given it the confidence to keep gradually lifting still-low borrowing rates toward their historic norms.
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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