polygraph

noun
poly·graph | \ˈpä-lē-ˌgraf \

Definition of polygraph 

: an instrument for recording variations of several different pulsations (as of physiological variables) simultaneously — compare lie detector

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Other Words from polygraph

polygraphic \ˌpä-lē-ˈgra-fik \ adjective

Synonyms for polygraph

Synonyms

lie detector

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Did You Know?

With its graph- root, polygraph indicates that it writes out several different results. A polygraph's output consists of a set of squiggly lines on a computer screen, each indicating one function being tested. The functions most commonly measured are blood pressure, breathing rate, pulse, and perspiration, all of which tend to increase when you lie. Polygraphs have been in use since 1924, and have gotten more sensitive over the years, though many experts still believe that they're unreliable and that a prepared liar can fool the machine. They're used not only for law enforcement but perhaps more often by employers--often the police department itself!--who don't want to hire someone who has broken the law in the past but won't admit to it.

Examples of polygraph in a Sentence

They hooked him up to the polygraph and began the test. She was asked to take a polygraph.

Recent Examples on the Web

Dwyer said Ream, 69, is suspected in the other missing girl cases, was interviewed and failed a polygraph. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Dig for missing girls in Macomb Twp. halted: What now?," 15 May 2018 Lawmakers have proposed legislation that would relax the system only somewhat, waiving the polygraph for certain veterans and former security clearance holders. Tal Kopan, CNN, "Border Patrol has thousands of openings it can't fill," 6 Apr. 2018 Sheil says Williams hired his own lawyer for the criminal investigation and that Cleveland Clinic was not involved with the polygraph. Jayne O'donnell, USA TODAY, "New legal questions in case involving former Cleveland Clinic surgeon accused of rape," 6 Mar. 2018 Lieutenant Johnson requested a second polygraph test, administered by a different examiner, to be performed. Malik Johnson, NBC News, "Parents of Lelia Faulkner still searching for daughter two years after her disappearance.," 8 July 2018 The background check is the same kind required to be a deputy, which includes a polygraph test and a review of character references. Lisa Maria Garza, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Volusia 'school guardian' program receives 180 applications in five days, closes job posting early," 20 June 2018 He was accused of stealing drug bust money, lying to the FBI about it, and failing an FBI polygraph test. Mark Fazlollah, Philly.com, "Pa. high court: Judge Genece Brinkley to remain on Meek Mill case," 12 June 2018 The city also requires a psychological test, a medical exam that includes a drug screening, a polygraph test and an extensive background investigation. Don Stacom, Courant Community, "Bristol Seeks Police Applicants," 27 June 2018 He was accused of stealing drug bust money, lying to the FBI about it, and failing an FBI polygraph test. Mark Fazlollah, Philly.com, "Pa. high court: Judge Genece Brinkley to remain on Meek Mill case," 12 June 2018

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

1871, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for polygraph

The first known use of polygraph was in 1871

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More Definitions for polygraph

polygraph

noun

English Language Learners Definition of polygraph

: a test that is done with a lie detector to see if someone is telling the truth

polygraph

noun
poly·graph | \ˈpäl-i-ˌgraf \

Medical Definition of polygraph 

: an instrument for simultaneously recording variations of several different pulsations (as of the pulse, blood pressure, and respiration) — see lie detector

Other Words from polygraph

polygraphic \ˌpäl-i-ˈgraf-ik \ adjective
polygraphically \-i-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

polygraph

noun
poly·graph | \ˈpä-lē-ˌgraf \

Legal Definition of polygraph 

: an instrument that records physiological pulsations especially : lie detector

Other Words from polygraph

polygraphic \ˌpä-lē-ˈgra-fik \ adjective

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Comments on polygraph

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