gy·​ro·​scope | \ˈjī-rə-ˌskōp, 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 \ adjective
gyroscopically \ ˌjī-​rə-​ˈskä-​pi-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of gyroscope in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Any spinning object works as a gyroscope, moving to counteract any force that tries to change its orientation. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "Seakeeper’s Super Spinning System Keeps Ships Stable at Sea," 21 May 2018 The always-whirling Mr. Trump is capable of spinning himself off his gyroscope. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Teeing Off on Trump," 27 June 2018 Four wheels rotate in the gyroscope to provide a reaction that allows the necessarily precision in tracking, and two of the four failed by May 2013. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "In Space, Nobody Can Hear You Stream: Kepler Telescope to Send NASA Its Last Images," 7 July 2018 To some in the Thrones fandom, the gyroscope is a harbinger of how the series will end. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Game of Thrones Fans Think They're On to Something With This Westworld Discovery," 27 June 2018 The smartphone industry led to rapid improvements in sensors such as accelerometers and gyroscopes — which, in turn, helped with the design of more stable drones and allowed for larger VTOL aircraft. Joshua Brustein,, "Boeing asked for quiet jet packs but got a bunch of air motorcycles," 14 June 2018 Madrigal, the team's captain as well as its gyroscope, wouldn't bite, either, on his way to the bus while graciously signing autographs and posing for selfies. Ron Richmond For The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Inside Luke Heimlich's senior season with the Oregon State baseball team," 8 June 2018 Further, Dell’s design utilizes an accelerometer and a gyroscope to detect the laptop’s orientation and position. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 review: Meet the child of Intel and AMD’s unholy union," 23 May 2018 This could have ramifications for groups looking to use time crystals to build new atomic clocks, gyroscopes, or for other applications. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Discover 'Time Crystals' Growing Right Under Their Noses," 4 May 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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Statistics for gyroscope

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for gyroscope

The first known use of gyroscope was in 1856

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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 \

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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Comments on gyroscope

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something that serves to warn or remind

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