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 AppsFlyer also receives information about all your phone's onboard sensors, including the magnetometer, gyroscope, and accelerometer, and the sensors' calibration settings. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Amazon’s Ring app shares loads of your personal info, report finds," 28 Jan. 2020 Because the overwhelming majority of iPhones have their final assembly done in China, the value of their Swiss gyroscopes, Dutch motion chips, Japanese retina displays and American glassware gets assigned to the Chinese economy. Fred P. Hochberg, WSJ, "The iPhone Isn’t Made in China—It’s Made Everywhere," 31 Jan. 2020 But, like, a fake pilot training course where the women just have to answer simple math questions, go in a gyroscope, and complete an obstacle course. Lia Beck,, "The Bachelor Season 24 Premiere Recap: Return Of The Windmill," 7 Jan. 2020 Inside the Forerunner 645 Music is the typical bevy of sensors found in high-end Garmin devices: accelerometer, gyroscope, barometric altimeter, thermometer, compass, heart-rate monitor, and GPS and GLONASS. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Garmin Forerunner 645 Music review: The high price of tunes on a runner’s tool," 16 Mar. 2018 Androids are commonly equipped with a gyroscope, an accelerometer, and a magnetic-field detector; their sensors can calculate heart rate and count steps. Brian Barth, The New Yorker, "Big Tech’s Big Defector," 25 Nov. 2019 Malfunctioning gyroscopes will kill all of NASA’s space telescopes, given enough time. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Fixed Hubble the Same Way You Fix Your Computer," 23 Oct. 2018 Hubble, meanwhile, remains out of action with a more serious gyroscope issue that cropped up Oct. 5. Marcia Dunn, The Seattle Times, "NASA X-ray Space Telescope back online after brief shutdown," 17 Oct. 2018 Partly thanks to smartphones, which are packed with everything from miniaturised cameras to gyroscopes and accelerometers, the cost of tiny sensors is dropping. The Economist, "Drastic falls in cost are powering another computer revolution," 12 Sep. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of gyroscope was in 1856

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Statistics for gyroscope

Last Updated

31 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gyroscope.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for gyroscope


How to pronounce gyroscope (audio)

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

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