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 At BJ’s Wholesale Club in Baltimore, a manager said the thermometers were not calibrated properly and the temperature readings of employees consistently reported 96 or 97 degrees. Nicole Dungca, Washington Post, "On the front lines of the pandemic, grocery workers are in the dark about risks," 24 May 2020 Corrections officers take their temperatures, not nurses, and the thermometers used are more than three years beyond their expiration dates. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "ICE detainee with coronavirus in Ohio jail: ‘I can’t believe I’m in America’," 12 May 2020 Beyond keeping your food up to CDC guidelines, the thermometer is simply a great kitchen tool, with reviewers calling it easy-to-use and a must-have for home cooks of all levels. Braelyn Wood,, "This Food Thermometer Ensures Your Food Hits the Right Cooking Temperature to Kill Viruses and Bacteria," 17 Apr. 2020 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

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

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Thermometer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 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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