gy·​ro·​scope | \ ˈjī-rə-ˌskōp How to pronounce gyroscope (audio) , British also ˈgī- \

Definition of gyroscope

: a wheel or disk mounted to spin rapidly about an axis and also free to rotate about one or both of two axes perpendicular to each other and to the axis of spin so that a rotation of one of the two mutually perpendicular axes results from application of torque to the other when the wheel is spinning and so that the entire apparatus offers considerable opposition depending on the angular momentum to any torque that would change the direction of the axis of spin

Illustration of gyroscope

Illustration of gyroscope

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from gyroscope

gyroscopic \ ˌjī-​rə-​ˈskä-​pik How to pronounce gyroscope (audio) \ adjective
gyroscopically \ ˌjī-​rə-​ˈskä-​pi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce gyroscope (audio) \ adverb

Examples of gyroscope in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The space craft has a more controlled method for finding the torque and a better way to measure the angular acceleration (probably using a gyroscope). Rhett Allain, Wired, "How NASA Finds the Mass of the Dirt Grabbed From an Asteroid," 16 Nov. 2020 When taking Night Mode photos on the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, the Camera app now shows an indicator that uses gyroscope data to help users keep the camera steady. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "iOS and iPadOS 14 review: iPhone transformation, iPad iteration," 28 Sep. 2020 The Series 6 still features an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, always-on altimeter and GPS. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "SpO2 monitoring, refined performance and new colors make the Series 6 the best Apple Watch yet," 24 Sep. 2020 Alongside this core sensor, the SE features an accelerometer, a gyroscope for fall detection, the always-on altimeter, a compass, GPS and an ambient light sensor. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "The Apple Watch SE may just be the best option yet, with a few compromises," 29 Sep. 2020 Sandlin says cats could use the gyroscope effect of their inner ear parts—similar to what humans have—combined with their visual sense. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "That Time the Air Force Tossed Cats in Zero Gravity," 24 Aug. 2020 Games can now access the gyroscope, accelerometer, touchpad, and lightbar in the DualShock 4, as well as the rear paddle buttons on the Xbox Elite controller. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Gaming on Apple platforms is set for some big changes—here are a few," 26 June 2020 This taps into the accelerometer and gyroscope of the AirPods and the device it is connected to. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "Here’s everything Apple announced at WWDC 2020," 22 June 2020 Even the gyroscope of a compromised smartphone can pick up sounds even if the malware can't access its microphone. Andy Greenberg, Wired, "Spies Can Eavesdrop by Watching a Light Bulb's Vibrations," 12 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gyroscope.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of gyroscope

1856, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gyroscope


Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gyroscope

Time Traveler for gyroscope

Time Traveler

The first known use of gyroscope was in 1856

See more words from the same year

Statistics for gyroscope

Cite this Entry

“Gyroscope.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gyroscope



English Language Learners Definition of gyroscope

: a wheel that spins quickly and is held in a frame that allows it to tilt in any direction


gy·​ro·​scope | \ ˈjī-rə-ˌskōp How to pronounce gyroscope (audio) \

Kids Definition of gyroscope

: a wheel mounted to spin rapidly so that its axis is free to turn in various directions

More from Merriam-Webster on gyroscope

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

Comments on gyroscope

What made you want to look up gyroscope? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!