calibrate

verb
cal·​i·​brate | \ ˈka-lə-ˌbrāt How to pronounce calibrate (audio) \
calibrated; calibrating

Definition of calibrate

transitive verb

1 : to ascertain the caliber of (something) )
2 : to determine, rectify, or mark the graduations of (something, such as a thermometer tube)
3 : to standardize (something, such as a measuring instrument) by determining the deviation from a standard so as to ascertain the proper correction factors
4 : to adjust precisely for a particular function calibrate a thermometer
5 : to measure precisely carefully calibrate the dosage of a medicine especially : to measure against a standard

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from calibrate

calibrator \ ˈka-​lə-​ˌbrā-​tər How to pronounce calibrator (audio) \ noun

Examples of calibrate in a Sentence

carefully calibrate the dosage of a medicine

Recent Examples on the Web

Both America and Iran seem to be calibrating their response to each other’s actions. The Economist, "Iran is blowing up ships in the Gulf, says America," 14 June 2019 But one feature that has distinguished its devices is their camera-centric nature and their ability to calibrate exposures for darker skin tones. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "How Africa’s top handset maker designs phone cameras calibrated for darker skin tones," 3 June 2019 Which is to say, a thriller was a thriller, constructed of cliff-hangers and carefully calibrated revelations that (ideally) left you hungry for more. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Bodyguard Is the Best Political Thriller Since Homeland," 24 Oct. 2018 The reactions to steering and pedal inputs are almost supernaturally well calibrated; nothing is lost in translation between the driver's requests and the car's responses. Car and Driver, "2019 10Best Cars," 28 Nov. 2018 Even so, it should be calibrated regularly if used for critical parts like suspension and internal engine fasteners. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "How to Use a Torque Wrench to Keep Your Car from Flying Apart," 26 Feb. 2019 There’s plenty of steel on the inside, though, starting with a 900-pound front door that glides open like a bank vault (a fabricator was flown in from Seattle to install it and calibrate the swing). Sarah Medford, WSJ, "Daniel and Estrellita Brodsky Dreamed of a Modern Home in a Pastoral Setting," 11 Dec. 2018 All are cleverly calibrated to feed a market hungry for new experiences. Audrey Phoon, Condé Nast Traveler, "25 Best Hotels in Singapore," 28 Feb. 2018 To the instructors here in Texas, the human body is a machine to be quantified and calibrated to an optimal state. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "What Happened When I Trained With Air Force Human Performance Specialists," 12 Feb. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of calibrate

1850, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for calibrate

caliber + -ate entry 4, perhaps after French calibrer

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about calibrate

Statistics for calibrate

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for calibrate

The first known use of calibrate was in 1850

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for calibrate

calibrate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of calibrate

: to adjust or mark (something, such as a measuring device) so that it can be used in an accurate and exact way
: to measure (something) in an exact and precise way

calibrate

transitive verb
cal·​i·​brate | \ ˈkal-ə-ˌbrāt How to pronounce calibrate (audio) \
calibrated; calibrating

Medical Definition of calibrate

1 : to ascertain the caliber of (as a thermometer tube)
2 : to determine, rectify, or mark the graduations of (as a thermometer tube)
3 : to standardize (as a measuring instrument) by determining the deviation from a standard so as to ascertain the proper correction factors

Other Words from calibrate

calibration \ ˌkal-​ə-​ˈbrā-​shən How to pronounce calibration (audio) \ noun
calibrator \ ˈkal-​ə-​ˌbrāt-​ər How to pronounce calibrator (audio) \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on calibrate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with calibrate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for calibrate

Spanish Central: Translation of calibrate

Nglish: Translation of calibrate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on calibrate

What made you want to look up calibrate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!