indicator

noun
in·​di·​ca·​tor | \ ˈin-də-ˌkā-tər \

Definition of indicator 

1 : one that indicates: such as
a : an index hand (as on a dial) : pointer
(2) : an instrument for automatically making a diagram that indicates the pressure in and volume of the working fluid of an engine throughout the cycle
2a : a substance (such as litmus) used to show visually (as by change of color) the condition of a solution with respect to the presence of a particular material (such as a free acid or alkali)
3 : an organism or ecological community so strictly associated with particular environmental conditions that its presence is indicative of the existence of these conditions
4 : any of a group of statistical values (such as level of employment) that taken together give an indication of the health of the economy

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Other Words from indicator

indicatory \ in-​ˈdi-​kə-​ˌtȯr-​ē \ adjective

Synonyms for indicator

Synonyms

hand, index, needle, pointer

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Examples of indicator in a Sentence

Economic indicators suggest that prices will go up. a control panel with various indicator lights

Recent Examples on the Web

Changes in your menstrual cycle are the hallmark indicator that your body is nearing menopause. Amy Marturana, SELF, "12 Causes of Spotting and Breakthrough Bleeding," 28 Dec. 2018 The other important indicator here is that politicians who backed gun control won big this year in the midterm elections. German Lopez, Vox, "How the Parkland shooting changed America’s gun debate," 26 Dec. 2018 The indicator for the availability of skills needed fell to minus 28 in December, another all-time low, down from minus 26 in November. Micah Maidenberg, WSJ, "Richmond Fed’s Manufacturing Index Weakened in December," 26 Dec. 2018 Another indicator of the significance of this launch is that Vice President Mike Pence, who chairs the National Space Council, is expected to attend. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Tuesday may deliver a triple-header of big launches to cap 2018," 17 Dec. 2018 Pull one of the paddles and the gear-position indicator in the gauge cluster turns yellow. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Five Very Important Questions About the 2019 Corvette ZR1," 6 Dec. 2018 The dial has orange indices (the hour indicators) with a bezel cut from nautical teak, the wood found on the decks of the finest boats. Matt Hranek, Condé Nast Traveler, "Time and Place: Hublot in Brooklyn," 26 Sep. 2018 With this in mind, a change in smell can be the biggest indicator of contamination. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Here's Exactly What Causes Mold to Grow in Skin-Care Products — and How to Avoid It," 19 Sep. 2018 In cities like San Francisco, local schools have been closed since Friday, November 16, due to the poor air quality—an indicator that the rest of us should be staying in as well. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "California Fires: What to Know If You're Visiting California This Week," 21 Nov. 2018

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

1666, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for indicator

Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for indicator

The first known use of indicator was in 1666

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More Definitions for indicator

indicator

noun

English Language Learners Definition of indicator

: a sign that shows the condition or existence of something

: a pointer or light that shows the state or condition of something

: a device that shows a measurement

indicator

noun
in·​di·​ca·​tor | \ ˈin-də-ˌkā-tər \

Kids Definition of indicator

1 : a sign that shows or suggests the condition or existence of something
2 : a pointer on a dial or scale

indicator

noun
in·​di·​ca·​tor | \ ˈin-də-ˌkāt-ər \

Medical Definition of indicator 

: a substance (as a dye) used to show visually (as by a change in color) the condition of a solution with respect to the presence of a particular material (as a free acid or alkali) litmus and phenolphthalein are acid-base indicators

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Comments on indicator

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