chro·​nom·​e·​ter krə-ˈnä-mə-tər How to pronounce chronometer (audio)
plural chronometers
: timepiece
I don't know about you, but by the time the short fat hand of my analog chronometer is on the six, I'm about ready to take the rest of the day off.Stanley Bing
especially : one designed to keep time with great accuracy despite external forces
Self-educated English clockmaker John Harrison (1693-1776) found the answer by inventing a chronometer—a friction-free timepiece, impervious to pitch and roll, temperature and humidity—that would carry the true time from the home port to any destination. Genevieve Stuttaford

Examples of chronometer in a Sentence

a fancy new chronometer that is light-years more advanced than your average wristwatch
Recent Examples on the Web The in-house movement—Calibre 8910—features a co-axial master chronometer resistant to magnetic fields reaching up to 15,000 gauss. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 16 Oct. 2023 The solid silver dial with gold enamel—inspired by historical chronometers’ scientific dials and protected by a clear varnish to prevent oxidation—boasts a design that is a symbolic representation of the opposite polarities of a magnetic field. Elizabeth Doerr, Robb Report, 28 Aug. 2023 The escapement’s pallet lever, on the other hand, is unusually crafted in 14-karat gold, a nod to historical chronometers. Elizabeth Doerr, Robb Report, 28 Aug. 2023 Since then, the Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer has been tested by the German Calibration Service and is duly certified as a chronometer, according to Escapement Magazine. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 17 Aug. 2023 All three have scratch-resistant ceramic bezels (black for the titanium piece and green for the steel) and use Co-Axial chronometer caliber 8938 movements to power a 24-city world time function with a center dial that resembles a world map. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 17 May 2023 Sir Ernest stood by under the canvas with chronometer, pencil, and book. Daniella McCahey, Fortune, 2 Mar. 2023 The timepiece features a unidirectional rotating bezel, a chronometer, a screw-in crown, and a helium-escape valve. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 4 May 2023 Marine chronometers were used in the 18th century to aid navigation. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 1 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chronometer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


chrono- + -meter

Note: Apparently first used in English by the clergyman and natural philosopher William Derham (1657-1735) in Physico-Theology; or a Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God, from His Works of Creation (London, 1714); see Wolfgang Köberer, "On the First Use of the Term 'Chronometer'," The Mariner's Mirror, vol. 106, no. 2 (2016), pp. 203-06. In French chronomètre was used for a metronome-like device by the musician and pedagogue Étienne Loulié in Elements ou principes de musique (Paris, 1696).

First Known Use

circa 1676, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chronometer was circa 1676

Dictionary Entries Near chronometer

Cite this Entry

“Chronometer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


chro·​nom·​e·​ter krə-ˈnäm-ət-ər How to pronounce chronometer (audio)
: an instrument for measuring time
especially : one intended to keep time with great exactness
also chronometrical

Medical Definition


chro·​nom·​e·​ter krə-ˈnäm-ət-ər How to pronounce chronometer (audio)
: an instrument for measuring time
especially : one designed to keep time with great accuracy

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