- 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.
- to measure with calipers.
- to use calipers.
Origin of caliper
First recorded in 1580–90; presumably variant of caliber
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for calliper
Yes, and Mrs. Calliper meant to dry them all and sell them, and buy some things for Dot and Molly and the baby.
Mrs. Calliper would not let any of the children go, but she put down Dot to carry the baby.
Mrs. Calliper and the children heard the guns go off pretty quickly after that—bang!
- Also called: calliper compasses (often plural) an instrument for measuring internal or external dimensions, consisting of two steel legs hinged together
- Also called: calliper splint med a splint consisting of two metal rods with straps attached, for supporting or exerting tension on the leg
- (tr) to measure the dimensions of (an object) with callipers
C16: variant of calibre
- 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
Word Origin and History for calliper
variant of caliper. Related: Callipers.
1620s, short for calliper compass (1580s), a device used to measure caliber (q.v.). Related: Calipers.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- 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.
- 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.