cal·​i·​per | \ ˈka-lə-pər How to pronounce caliper (audio) \

Definition of caliper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : any of various measuring instruments having two usually adjustable arms, legs, or jaws used especially to measure diameter or thickness usually used in plurala pair of calipers
b : a device for pressing a frictional material (such as a brake pad) against the sides of a rotating wheel or disc
2 : thickness especially of paper, cardboard, or a tree


calipered; calipering\ ˈka-​lə-​p(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce calipering (audio) \

Definition of caliper (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to measure by or as if by calipers

Illustration of caliper

Illustration of caliper


caliper 1a

In the meaning defined above

Examples of caliper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Cayenne E-Hybrid’s brake calipers are painted acid green like the 918 hypercar’s. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Porsche’s third-generation Cayenne hybrid gets more juice, performance," 13 Sep. 2019 Strong and massive two-piece 15.7-inch front rotors clamped by six-piston calipers erase speed with sports-car-like security. David Beard, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2020 Audi S7 Asks if Looks Matter," 13 Apr. 2020 Options including navigation, Bose audio, head up display, high beam assist, parking assist, camera rear view mirror, 19-inch alloy wheels and red Brembo calipers raised the price as tested to $59,195. cleveland, "Cadillac CT5-V sport sedan arrives as 2020’s most pleasant surprise (review)," 4 Apr. 2020 Some of these include under-door puddle lights, black brake calipers, a Porsche crest on the center console, and a white central tachometer and stopwatch. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "How We'd Spec It: Going All Out on a 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S," 5 Mar. 2020 To really bring home the whole red theme, the brake calipers are painted in a crimson hue. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, "A New VW Golf GTI Always Makes Us Happy, and Here's the Mk 8," 26 Feb. 2020 Shocks are Penske racing dampers with no external adjustments, and brakes are AP Racing one-piece aluminum units, six-piston front calipers and four-piston rears. Dan Carney, Popular Science, "You can now own a stock car that’s just like what Nascar pros race," 22 Jan. 2020 Worth noting: The Urus has these enormous 17.3-inch carbon-ceramic brakes with 10-piston calipers. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "The Lamborghini Urus Is a Driver-Friendly Supercar With an Endearing Lack of Logic," 20 Jan. 2020 The car features silver brake calipers and large factory rotors, an advanced radar system and all-wheel drive. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "Barrett-Jackson: 10 celebrity, charity and other cool cars to cross auction block on Friday," 17 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Standard Tornado Red calipers signal to the 99.999999 percent that this is indeed the V-8 trim. Tony Markovich, Car and Driver, "SUV-8: Bentley Bentayga Gets a 542-HP Twin-Turbo Eight-Cylinder," 12 Jan. 2018

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

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First Known Use of caliper


1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1793, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for caliper


alteration of caliber

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Time Traveler for caliper

Time Traveler

The first known use of caliper was in 1581

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Statistics for caliper

Last Updated

13 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Caliper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for caliper


cal·​i·​per | \ ˈka-lə-pər How to pronounce caliper (audio) \

Kids Definition of caliper

: an instrument with two adjustable legs used to measure the thickness of objects or the distance between surfaces usually used in pl.a pair of calipers


variants: or chiefly British calliper \ ˈkal-​ə-​pər How to pronounce calliper (audio) \

Medical Definition of caliper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of various measuring instruments having two usually adjustable arms, legs, or jaws used to measure thickness, diameter, and distance between surfaces usually used in plural a pair of calipers
variants: or chiefly British calliper
calipered; calipering\ -​p(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce calipering (audio) \

Medical Definition of caliper (Entry 2 of 2)

: to measure by or as if by calipers

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Britannica English: Translation of caliper for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about caliper

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