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 Additionally, the Tudor Pelagos will always tell you the date, hour, minute, and second accurately because the chronometer works despite any variants in motion, temperature, or pressure. Popular Science, "Reliable diving watches for your undersea adventures," 20 May 2020 Hlavacek and Druckenmiller finalized the paperwork at 10:25 a.m. Thursday, shaking hands over the chronometer. Kyrie Long, The Seattle Times, "Family donates ice classic clock UA Museum of the North," 30 Mar. 2019 Cellular chronometers may even decide when your time is up. Karen Wright, Scientific American, "Biological Clocks Operate on Many Scales," 21 Jan. 2012 Harrison was self-educated, and is credited with creating the first marine chronometer to calculate longitude when sailors were at sea. Mackenzie Cummings-grady, Billboard, "Google Doodle Celebrates Famous Clockmaker John Harrison," 3 Apr. 2018 The Clock of the World, an extravagant chronometer telling visitors the exact minute and hour anywhere in the world, stood by the entrance to Tomorrowland, symbolizing the land’s temporal transition. Rachel Withers, Slate Magazine, "How did Walt Disney’s vision of a futuristic metropolis become a quaint symbol of a bygone era?," 4 Sep. 2017 Harrison is the famous inventor of the marine chronometer which enabled accurate navigation at sea. Nicholas Manousos,, "This Sculptor Wants to Turn Your House Into a Clock," 21 July 2017 The awards were launched in observance of a half-century of the iconic Rolex Oyster chronometer, the world’s first waterproof wristwatch. National Geographic, "These 10 Innovators Are Changing the World, From Oceans to Eye Care," 15 Nov. 2016 With few exceptions, the modern gadget is as impossible to navigate as were the seas before the sextant and the marine chronometer. Charlie Sorrel, WIRED, "History’s 5 Best Interface Designs," 22 Apr. 2008

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

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The first known use of chronometer was circa 1676

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Cite this Entry

“Chronometer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for chronometer


How to pronounce chronometer (audio)

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

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