pro·​trac·​tor | \ prō-ˈtrak-tər How to pronounce protractor (audio) , prə-\

Definition of protractor

1a : one that protracts
b : a muscle that extends a part
2 : an instrument for laying down and measuring angles in drawing and plotting

Examples of protractor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The fixture's arm is clipped to some nearby object to anchor the protractor dial, which must be returned to zero after the initial torque is applied. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "How to Use a Torque Wrench to Keep Your Car from Flying Apart," 26 Feb. 2019 There have been sterling silver protractors, and tin cans, and even a greenhouse, as well as bone china to-go coffee cups in Tiffany blue. Reed Krakoff, Town & Country, "Tiffany & Co. Wants to Change the Rules of How to Wear a Diamond," 27 Nov. 2018 Sure, a protractor works, but a sextant does this even better. Rhett Allain, WIRED, "Figure Out Where You Are With Nothing But a Watch and Protractor," 3 May 2018 USA TODAY Sports The compass controversy is over, and the U.S. Golf Association has ruled that Bryson DeChambeau may no longer use his protractor on the course. Kevin Casey, USA TODAY, "USGA rules that Bryson DeChambeau can't use drawing compass on golf course," 6 July 2018 Now hold the protractor upside down and aim the straight part towards the North Star. Rhett Allain, WIRED, "Figure Out Where You Are With Nothing But a Watch and Protractor," 3 May 2018 Better whip out your protractor for this one, Meg … • Stop eating when the queen stops eating. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "What Are the Most Bizarre Royal Etiquette Rules?," 3 May 2018 Last November, the can reappeared, only this time in sterling with a vermeil interior, as part of Krakoff’s Everyday Objects collection, which also includes a $9,000 silver ball of yarn and a $425 silver-and-walnut protractor. Christina Binkley, WSJ, "The Secret Inside Tiffany’s Blue Box: Reed Krakoff," 26 Mar. 2018 The pieces will include sterling silver protractors, rulers, a drinking straw, a first aid kit, and a paper cup. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Inside the Secret World of Tiffany & Co.'s Silversmiths​," 12 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'protractor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of protractor

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about protractor

Statistics for protractor

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for protractor

The first known use of protractor was circa 1611

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for protractor



English Language Learners Definition of protractor

: a device that has the form of a half circle and that is used for drawing and measuring angles


pro·​trac·​tor | \ prō-ˈtrak-tər How to pronounce protractor (audio) \

Kids Definition of protractor

: an instrument used for drawing and measuring angles


pro·​trac·​tor | \ -tər How to pronounce protractor (audio) \

Medical Definition of protractor

: a muscle that extends a part — compare retractor sense b

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on protractor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with protractor

Spanish Central: Translation of protractor

Nglish: Translation of protractor for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about protractor

Comments on protractor

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


to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!