pro·​trac·​tor prō-ˈtrak-tər How to pronounce protractor (audio)
: one that protracts
: a muscle that extends a part
: an instrument for laying down and measuring angles in drawing and plotting

Examples of protractor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The team is combing the soil to find any bone fragments, as well as personal items such as uniforms, navigation protractors, watches and rings. Stephen Smith, CBS News, 21 May 2024 The spiral pictured is 120 feet (36.5 meters) wide, photographed by drone, and was plotted out on the ground using a protractor specially fabricated for the occasion by the band with a pivoting centre and 60ft long adjustable arm. Evan Minsker, Pitchfork, 19 Jan. 2024 But the crew might have to calculate the target’s coordinates using a map and protractor. David Axe, Forbes, 21 Mar. 2023 But come fall, anyone who’s ever bought a school supply—even a chintzy, plastic protractor—might feel a stirring of initiative in their sunburned loins. Wsj Off Duty Editors, WSJ, 10 Sep. 2022 Sebastian bought most of her kids’ supplies — including coloring and craft supplies for her first grader, Bruno, and graph paper and a protractor for her fourth grader, Ophelia — at Target. Talia Soglin, Chicago Tribune, 28 July 2022 But apologies, forgiveness, and reconciliation are not points on a protractor. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 10 May 2022 Guns lay on the coffee table, beside a protractor and a jar of beet juice. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Aug. 2021 The defense trumpeted this revelation, but the D.A. called it flawed and stuck by the original protractor-and-eyeball results. Los Angeles Times, 29 June 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'protractor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of protractor was circa 1611

Dictionary Entries Near protractor

Cite this Entry

“Protractor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


pro·​trac·​tor prō-ˈtrak-tər How to pronounce protractor (audio)
: an instrument for drawing and measuring angles

Medical Definition


pro·​trac·​tor -tər How to pronounce protractor (audio)
: a muscle that extends a part compare retractor sense b

More from Merriam-Webster on protractor

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