es·​cape·​ment | \ i-ˈskāp-mənt How to pronounce escapement (audio) \

Definition of escapement

1a : a device in a timepiece which controls the motion of the train of wheelwork and through which the energy of the power source is delivered to the pendulum or balance by means of impulses that permit a tooth to escape from a pallet at regular intervals
b : a ratchet device (such as the spacing mechanism of a typewriter) that permits motion in one direction only in equal steps
2a : the act of escaping
b : a way of escape : vent

Illustration of escapement

Illustration of escapement

escapement 1a

Examples of escapement in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

That’s more than last year’s total escapement of 44,110 fish and is already beyond the department’s biological escapement goal of 22,000 to 42,000 early run sockeye. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "Fish and Game to raise Russian River sockeye limit to 9 fish per day starting Wednesday," 18 June 2019 Invented to prevent timing fluctuations caused by a pocket watch's static vertical orientation, a tourbillon holds the escapement in a rotating cage, offsetting gravity's negative effects. Popular Mechanics, "The Tiny Machines That Make Watches Beautiful (and Expensive)," 19 Feb. 2015 But in 2001, Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin introduced a watch with a silicon escapement (a mechanical device that controls the flow of energy). Michael Clerizo, WSJ, "The Future of Watches: 3-D Printed Cases and Robot Horologists," 31 July 2018 In watchmaking terms an escapement transfers energy to watch's timekeeping element, like a pendulum or balance wheel, and keeps track of the repetitive oscillations inside the watch. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Complex 3D Printed Watch Has 70 Moving Parts," 11 May 2018 First developed in 1795 and patented in 1801 by Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, the tourbillon is a type of escapement. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Complex 3D Printed Watch Has 70 Moving Parts," 11 May 2018 There was not a mechanic among them; these were scientists, and their conversations buzzed with talk of spectrums and quantum levels, not gears and escapements. W. Wayt Gibbs, Scientific American, "Ultraprecise Clocks Approach Chronometry's Final Frontier," 24 Jan. 2012 Biologists also must assure themselves enough salmon will pass Bonneville Dam to meet both tribal ceremonial and subsistence treaty requirements as well as escapement of upper river wild and hatchery fish. Bill Monroe,, "Spring salmon anglers get one more day this weekend below Bonneville," 11 Apr. 2018 That watch is none other than a Patek Philippe Nautilus, converted to a co-axial escapement in 1981 at the request of Patek Philippe, by Dr. Daniels. Jack Forster,, "The Weird, Wonderful Treasures Inside Europe’s Greatest Watch Museum," 5 Mar. 2018

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

1779, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for escapement

The first known use of escapement was in 1779

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one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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