ther·​mom·​e·​ter | \ thər-ˈmä-mə-tər How to pronounce thermometer (audio) , thə-ˈmä-mə-tər \
plural thermometers

Definition of thermometer

: an instrument for determining temperature specifically : one consisting of a sensor housed in a metal probe that registers a change in electrical resistance as a change in temperature

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Other Words from thermometer

thermometric \ ˌthər-​mə-​ˈme-​trik How to pronounce thermometric (audio) \ adjective
thermometrically \ ˌthər-​mə-​ˈme-​tri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce thermometrically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of thermometer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the final minutes before the salon reopened, Diamond Herrera, 22, a stylist, and Desi Orr, 19, a receptionist, tested out the no-touch forehead thermometers. Markian Hawryluk, New York Times, "Colorado Hair Salons Are Reopening, With New Rules," 11 May 2020 Much like a thermometer reads your temperature, a pulse oximeter—a small rectangular device that clips onto your finger—reads your blood oxygen levels and heart rate. Leah Groth,, "Pulse Oximeters May Be Helpful For People With COVID-19—Here's What to Know Before You Buy One," 28 Apr. 2020 Between uses, disinfect the thermometer with alcohol or peroxide. Amelia Nierenberg,, "How should you stock your medicine cabinet?," 25 Apr. 2020 The thermometer, a small strip of temperature-reactive paper, had ripped in half. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "Delivery Companies Hand Out Safety Gear—with Mixed Results," 24 Apr. 2020 At the base of the mountain, the thermometer read minus 3, and the stars had finished winking out as the eastern horizon glowed that color that has no name besides simply gorgeous. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, "The final bird hunt of the season, and everything old feels young again," 18 Apr. 2020 But there has been criticism about the no-touch thermometers giving inconsistent readings, as well as the fact the department did not ban school classes and other programs at most prisons. Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press, "Coronavirus spreads to 4 more Michigan prisons as concerns mount," 10 Apr. 2020 At the health official’s desk at Mumbai airport, the thermometer let me off the hook. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "I escaped Covid-19 in Europe and beat India’s lockdown, but I’m not sure I’m any safer," 18 Mar. 2020 The small New Hampshire ski area was blanketed in sunlight, and guests meandered toward the green, chalet-style lodge, as if the thermometer didn’t read zero degrees Fahrenheit. Connor W. Davis, Outside Online, "In This Sufferfest, the Last Skier Standing Wins," 13 Mar. 2020

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

1633, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for thermometer

French thermomètre, from Greek thermē heat + French -o- + -mètre -meter — more at therm

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Time Traveler for thermometer

Time Traveler

The first known use of thermometer was in 1633

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Statistics for thermometer

Last Updated

14 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Thermometer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for thermometer


How to pronounce thermometer (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of thermometer

: an instrument used for measuring temperature


ther·​mom·​e·​ter | \ thər-ˈmä-mə-tər How to pronounce thermometer (audio) , thə-ˈmä- \

Kids Definition of thermometer

: an instrument for measuring temperature


ther·​mom·​e·​ter | \ thə(r)-ˈmäm-ət-ər How to pronounce thermometer (audio) \

Medical Definition of thermometer

: an instrument for determining temperature that usually consists either of a device providing a digital readout or of a glass bulb attached to a fine tube of glass with a numbered scale and containing a liquid (as mercury or colored alcohol) that is sealed in and rises and falls with changes of temperature

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