odom·e·ter | \ō-ˈdä-mə-tər \

Definition of odometer 

: an instrument for measuring the distance traveled (as by a vehicle)

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Did You Know?

Odometer includes the root from the Greek word hodos, meaning "road" or "trip". An odometer shares space on your dashboard with a speedometer, a tachometer, and maybe a "tripmeter". The odometer is what crooked car salesmen tamper with when they want to reduce the mileage a car registers as having traveled. One of life's little pleasures is watching the odometer as all the numbers change at the same time.

Examples of odometer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

During the original murder investigation, detectives discovered Warren was rolling back odometers on vehicles at his used car lot. Marc Freeman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Killer clown investigators used DNA from hair samples to make cold case arrest," 13 Apr. 2018 Root claims he was fired after discovering odometers got rolled back and discussing it with McMillan, who allegedly then paid off a mechanic from the dealership to roll back his LaFerrari mileage. Jose Lambiet, miamiherald, "Ferrari says it will stop rolling back odometers on fancy pre-owned cars | Miami Herald," 28 Feb. 2018 The Mustang today has 65,000 miles on the odometer. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "'Bullitt' Mustang spent 40 years in garage — now it's going on tour," 19 Jan. 2018 After some prodding, Wynne found the key fob for a blue 2017 Honda Civic Si coupe with four miles showing on the odometer. Marc Urbano, Car and Driver, "Hurricane Harvey Destroyed More Vehicles Than Any Single Event in America. This Is the Aftermath," 22 Feb. 2018 Almost two-thirds of the vehicles on the road have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How To Pick The Right Motor Oil For Your Car," 18 Jan. 2018 Which brings us back to that 59-mile drive, according to Dantonio's odometer, because that drive symbolizes everything. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan-Michigan State football: An upset would right Spartans' ship," 3 Oct. 2017 The village's three front line cruiser squad cars have over 120,000 miles on their odometer, officials reported at the meeting. Pioneer Press, chicagotribune.com, "River Grove officials lay out their case for a tax increase," 11 Dec. 2017 The disease spread to her brain, causing seizures that sparked bizarre but benign hallucinations, like a Renoir painting or a spinning odometer. Alexandra Alter, New York Times, "Amy Tan, the Reluctant Memoirist," 16 Oct. 2017

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

1791, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for odometer

French odomètre, from Greek hodometron, from hodos way, road + metron measure — more at measure

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Time Traveler for odometer

The first known use of odometer was in 1791

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English Language Learners Definition of odometer

: a device in a car, truck, etc., that measures the distance that the vehicle has traveled


odom·e·ter | \ō-ˈdä-mə-tər \

Kids Definition of odometer

: an instrument for measuring the distance traveled (as by a vehicle)

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Spanish Central: Translation of odometer

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about odometer

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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