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or calliper

[kal-uh-per] /ˈkæl ə pər/
Usually, calipers. an instrument for measuring thicknesses and internal or external diameters inaccessible to a scale, consisting usually of a pair of adjustable pivoted legs.
any of various calibrated instruments for measuring thicknesses or distances between surfaces, usually having a screwed or sliding adjustable piece.
Compare vernier caliper.
thickness or depth, as of paper or a tree.
Usually, calipers. the pincers of an earwig.
Automotive. the part of a disc-brake assembly that straddles the disc and presses the brake pads against it.
a similar part used with a hand brake on a bicycle.
verb (used with object)
to measure with calipers.
verb (used without object)
to use calipers.
Origin of caliper
First recorded in 1580-90; presumably variant of caliber Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for caliper
Historical Examples
  • In case the bottom surface is used, 0.150 must be deducted from the reading of the caliper.

    Measuring Tools Unknown
  • It is a 26-inch caliper, and will caliper up to 34 inches diameter.

    Measuring Tools Unknown
  • Then the legs are closed to remove the caliper, and are reset to the scribed line.

    Measuring Tools Unknown
  • Then remove the caliper and measure the distance between the caliper points.

    Measuring Tools Unknown
  • The method of adjusting a spring caliper is shown at Fig. 174, H.

    Aviation Engines

    Victor Wilfred Pag
  • The tailstock center is next set over by guess and a caliper tool is clamped in the toolpost.

    Turning and Boring Franklin D. Jones
  • The design must be worked out by eye, because of the nature of the work no caliper measurements can be made for depth of cuts.

    A Course In Wood Turning Archie S. Milton and Otto K. Wohlers
  • In order to permit of ready adjustment of a spring caliper, a split nut as shown at G is sometimes used.

    Aviation Engines

    Victor Wilfred Pag
  • The common sizes by caliper, or diameter of the trunk, are five-, seven- or nine-sixteenths of an inch.

    The Peaches of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • But what are the facts left for our consideration in connection with caliper measurement?

    Antonio Stradivari Horace William Petherick
British Dictionary definitions for caliper


the usual US spelling of calliper
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for caliper

1620s, short for calliper compass (1580s), a device used to measure caliber (q.v.). Related: Calipers.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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caliper in Medicine

caliper cal·i·per or cal·li·per (kāl'ə-pər)
An instrument consisting essentially of two curved hinged legs, used to measure thickness and distances.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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caliper in Science

An instrument consisting of two curved legs connected at a hinge, used to measure thickness and distance. Often used in the plural as calipers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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