chro·​nom·​e·​ter | \ krə-ˈnä-mə-tər How to pronounce chronometer (audio) \
plural chronometers

Definition of chronometer

: 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

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Synonyms for chronometer


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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 Shul joins Ball’s Explorers Club and the watch in his honor is a chronometer that displays the time in three zones. Roberta Naas, Forbes, 11 May 2021 Ulysse Nardin celebrates its 175th anniversary this year by imagining what a marine chronometer would look like 175 years from now. Carol Besler, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2021 For 2021, Omega has given the Moonwatch a thorough upgrade with its Caliber 3861, a master chronometer certified movement with a coaxial escapement. Daniel Bentley, Fortune, 21 Feb. 2021 To be certified as a master chronometer, a watch must not lose a second in 24 hours and can gain only five seconds in the same period. Daniel Bentley, Fortune, 21 Feb. 2021 And it's all set to run within -3/+5 seconds a day, higher than chronometer standards. Daniel Bentley, Fortune, 7 Feb. 2021 Eighty-four years later, a scientific expedition to the bottom of the Northern Atlantic ocean recovered a chronometer from the bridge of Titanic. Cody Cassidy, Wired, 30 Oct. 2020 One non-routine engagement: According to the chronometer, Angell won’t segue into his second century until September 19th, but various friends of Friend Memorial Public Library, in the center of Brooklin, decided to celebrate early. Mark Singe, The New Yorker, 7 Sep. 2020 The magnetic compass, gunpowder, the printing press, the chronometer, the cotton gin, the steam engine and the water wheel are among the many examples. Naomi Oreskes, Scientific American, 18 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chronometer.' 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 chronometer

circa 1676, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chronometer

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).

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Time Traveler for chronometer

Time Traveler

The first known use of chronometer was circa 1676

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Cite this Entry

“Chronometer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for chronometer



English Language Learners Definition of chronometer

: a watch or clock that measures time very exactly


chro·​nom·​e·​ter | \ krə-ˈnäm-ət-ər How to pronounce chronometer (audio) \

Medical Definition of chronometer

: an instrument for measuring time especially : one designed to keep time with great accuracy

More from Merriam-Webster on chronometer

Nglish: Translation of chronometer for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about chronometer


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