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

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Other Words from gyroscope

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

Examples of gyroscope in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Hubble's troublesome gyroscopes are several small spinning cylinders that rotate and stabilize the telescope. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Fixed Hubble the Same Way You Fix Your Computer," 23 Oct. 2018 Within the gyroscope is a wheel spinning rapidly inside a sealed cylinder, and some blockage in the fluid around this cylinder appeared to be causing erroneously high spin rates. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA brings a Hubble gyro back to life after a seven-year hibernation," 22 Oct. 2018 This is actually the second Hubble malfunction in less than a year; in October, one of its gyroscopes suffered a brief malfunction. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The Hubble Is Malfunctioning, Again," 10 Jan. 2019 In what appears to be a clear competitor to Life Alert, the Series 4 detects falls using a new accelerometer and gyroscope. Joanna Stern, WSJ, "Apple Watch Series 4 Review: Why I Finally Fell for This Wearable," 2 Oct. 2018 His new company, Astronautics Corporation of America, went on to develop a gyroscope platform for photographing stars in space as well as displays and systems used today on Boeing Co.’s 787 jets and Airbus SE’s A400M turboprop transport plane. ... Patrick Mcgroarty, WSJ, "Space Race Pioneer Planted Roots in Milwaukee," 7 Dec. 2018 Launched in 1990, Hubble has had trouble with its gyroscopes before. Marcia Dunn, The Seattle Times, "Hubble Space Telescope sidelined by serious pointing failure," 8 Oct. 2018 These mechanical systems are used for things like the gyroscope and accelerometers. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Helium implicated in weird iPhone malfunctions," 31 Oct. 2018 Thanks to its updated gyroscope and accelerator, the new Apple Watch also has a slip -and-fall tracking feature. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "iPhone XS, iPhone XR, Apple Watch and More: Apple's 2018 iPhone Event Roundup," 12 Sep. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of gyroscope

1856, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gyroscope


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Time Traveler for gyroscope

The first known use of gyroscope was in 1856

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on gyroscope

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gyroscope

Spanish Central: Translation of 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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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