clepsydra

noun
clep·sy·dra | \ˈklep-sə-drə \
plural clepsydras or clepsydrae\-ˌdrē, -ˌdrī \

Definition of clepsydra 

Did You Know?

In ancient times the sun was used to measure time during the day, but sundials weren't much help after dark, so peoples around the world invented clocks that used dripping water to mark the hours. In one kind of water clock, possibly invented by the Chaldeans, a vessel was filled with water that was allowed to escape through a hole. The vessel's inside was marked with graduated lines, and the time was read by measuring the level of the remaining water. The ancient Greeks called their water clocks "klepsydra" ("water thief"), which comes from "kleptein" ("to steal") and "hydōr" ("water"). English speakers stole "clepsydra" from the Greeks in the 16th century, but actual water clocks have become increasingly rare.

First Known Use of clepsydra

1580, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for clepsydra

Latin, from Greek klepsydra, from kleptein to steal + hydōr water — more at klept-, water

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Dictionary Entries near clepsydra

clepe

clepht

Clepsine

clepsydra

cleptobiosis

cleptomania

clerestoried

Statistics for clepsydra

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Time Traveler for clepsydra

The first known use of clepsydra was in 1580

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More from Merriam-Webster on clepsydra

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about clepsydra

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