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[kruh-nom-i-ter] /krəˈnɒm ɪ tər/
a timepiece or timing device with a special mechanism for ensuring and adjusting its accuracy, for use in determining longitude at sea or for any purpose where very exact measurement of time is required.
any timepiece, especially a wristwatch, designed for the highest accuracy.
Origin of chronometer
First recorded in 1705-15; chrono- + -meter
Related forms
[kron-uh-me-trik] /ˌkrɒn əˈmɛ trɪk/ (Show IPA),
chronometrical, adjective
chronometrically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for chronometer
Historical Examples
  • We were now questioned about our longitude, and whether we had a chronometer.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • The captain kept his eyes fixed on the chronometer in his hand.

  • The chronometer on the mantel was obscured by a thick layer of dust.

    Cap'n Eri Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • Faces isn't the chronometer to steer your boat to the good ones.

  • He stood with a strained tautness, staring feverishly at the chronometer.

    Competition James Causey
  • Bishop noticed the thistle bouquet in a vase over the chronometer.

    Competition James Causey
  • But the terrible question was, how near right is the chronometer?

    Captains of Industry James Parton
  • He looked at the chronometer on the wall—he had slept twelve hours!

    Islands of Space John W Campbell
  • The famous London chronometer told him that it was nine o'clock.

  • "It is now a quarter to," said the professor, regarding his chronometer.

    The Wizard of the Sea

    Roy Rockwood
British Dictionary definitions for chronometer


a timepiece designed to be accurate in all conditions of temperature, pressure, etc, used esp at sea
Derived Forms
chronometric (ˌkrɒnəˈmɛtrɪk), chronometrical, adjective
chronometrically, adverb
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 chronometer

1735, from chrono- "time" + -meter. Related: Chronometric.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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chronometer in Science
An extremely accurate clock or other timepiece. Chronometers are used in scientific experiments, navigation, and astronomical observations. It was the invention of a chronometer capable of being used aboard ship, in 1762, that allowed navigators for the first time to accurately determine their longitude at sea.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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