range finder


: an instrument used in gunnery to determine the distance of a target
: a surveying instrument (such as a transit) for determining quickly the distances, bearings, and elevations of distant objects
: a usually built-in adjustable optical device for focusing a camera that automatically indicates the correct focus (as when two parts of a split image are brought together)

Examples of range finder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During a press conference Friday, executives explained the safety switches for the lander’s two range finder lasers were enabled, meaning they couldn’t be used to guide the craft during its landing, The New York Times reports. Amrita Khalid, The Verge, 26 Feb. 2024 In addition to the military-style rifle, agents found a sniper rifle painted in camouflage, two thermal scopes, a range finder used by snipers, ammunition, a helmet, camouflage tactical gear and a knife emblazoned with the Base insignia. James Verini, New York Times, 8 Feb. 2023 On Walmart This range finder provides accurate measurements quickly to help golfers determine the distance their swing will need. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 13 Dec. 2023 Most range finders fall in the 20- to 25-millimeter range. Justin Park, Popular Mechanics, 28 Aug. 2023 Many groundskeepers chafe at a recent trend in which visiting coaches wander the outfield grass with range finders before games. David Waldstein, New York Times, 20 June 2023 Scientific and Engineering Awards The Cinematography Electronics CineTape is a revolutionary range finder. Chandra Steele, PCMAG, 10 Mar. 2023 Street fighting didn’t appear to be imminent, so Skenes opened Rambo’s camper shell and, between yawns, grabbed a carbon-fiber rifle fitted with a scope, ballistic range finder, and bipod—like something a professional assassin might get for Christmas. Daniel Duane, Outside Online, 5 Apr. 2021 Optional attachments can holster your bear spray and range finder. Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley, Outside Online, 26 Oct. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'range finder.' 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

1872, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of range finder was in 1872

Dictionary Entries Near range finder

Cite this Entry

“Range finder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/range%20finder. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

range finder

: a device used to find out the distance of an object (as a target)

More from Merriam-Webster on range finder

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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