ta·​chom·​e·​ter | \ ta-ˈkä-mə-tər How to pronounce tachometer (audio) , tə- \

Definition of tachometer

: a device for indicating speed of rotation

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A tachometer is literally a "speed-measurer", since the Greek root tach- means "speed". This is clear in the names of the tachyon, a particle of matter that travels faster than the speed of light (if it actually exists, it's so fast that it's impossible to see with any instrument), and tachycardia, a medical condition in which the heart races uncontrollably. Since the speed that an auto tachometer measures is speed of rotation of the crankshaft, the numbers it reports are revolutions per minute, or rpm's.

Examples of tachometer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dead center is a large central tachometer, flanked on either side by two 7.0-inch configurable digital displays. Derek Powell, Car and Driver, 13 July 2021 From the driver's seat, the obvious change is with the repurposed analog instruments, with the tachometer turned to a flow/charge meter and the supplemental dials now reporting on battery voltage and charge plus the temperatures of packs and motors. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 18 June 2021 Glancing at the data logger's tachometer shows a couple of trips to the high 9000s, so still 1000 rpm or so short of the limiter. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 21 July 2021 One is for boost, one is a voltmeter, and the third is a sort of tachometer for the turbochargers. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, 18 Aug. 2021 Only the essentials are featured: tachometer, speed, tire pressure, water temperature, and oil pressure. Derek Powell, Car and Driver, 13 July 2021 Revs climb ever quicker as rpm builds, the timbre rising with the tachometer needle. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, 1 July 2021 Though the combo is a bit sluggish off the line, the engine is generally responsive and makes good power above 4000 rpm, which is conveniently positioned at 12 o'clock on the tachometer. Scott Oldham, Car and Driver, 2 Dec. 2020 The view forward is dominated by a large speedometer with a central LCD panel on the left and a smaller almost vestigial pod, which would normally be a tachometer, on the right. Bill Roberson, Forbes, 20 May 2021

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

1810, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tachometer

Greek tachos speed + English -meter

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Time Traveler for tachometer

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The first known use of tachometer was in 1810

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Last Updated

19 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tachometer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tachometer. Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for tachometer



English Language Learners Definition of tachometer

: a device that measures how fast something (such as a wheel) is turning

More from Merriam-Webster on tachometer

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tachometer


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