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[gal-vuh-nom-i-ter] /ˌgæl vəˈnɒm ɪ tər/
an instrument for detecting the existence of small electric currents and determining their strength.
Origin of galvanometer
First recorded in 1795-1805; galvano- + -meter Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for galvanometer
Historical Examples
  • To indicate the effect, he included a galvanometer in the circuit of the battery and the button.

  • An instrument which reveals this condition is called a galvanometer.

    Electricity for Boys J. S. Zerbe
  • A galvanometer (D) or other current-testing means is placed in this circuit.

    Electricity for Boys J. S. Zerbe
  • The galvanometer before which Devin was seated apparently agreed.

    The Ultimate Weapon John Wood Campbell
  • Reverse the coil and the galvanometer swings in the opposite direction.

    Physics Willis Eugene Tower
  • We can determine the relative strengths of two currents by the use of a galvanometer.

    Physics Willis Eugene Tower
  • The moving coil of the galvanometer is constructed as follows: Cut from some 1/8-in.

  • The other piece is fastened to a bracket from which the galvanometer is suspended.

  • In this way the galvanometer will not be disturbed when making connections.

  • The galvanometer can be calibrated with this resistance, which is known as a shunt.

British Dictionary definitions for galvanometer


any sensitive instrument for detecting or measuring small electric currents
Derived Forms
galvanometric (ˌɡælvənəʊˈmɛtrɪk; ɡælˌvænə-), galvanometrical, adjective
galvanometrically, adverb
galvanometry, noun
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 galvanometer

1802, from comb. form of galvanism + -meter.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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galvanometer in Science
An instrument that detects small electric currents and indicates their direction and relative strength. Current flowing through the galvanometer passes through a coil near a magnetized needle on a pivot; the strength of the current in the coil regulates the strength of a magnetic field that displaces the needle. Galvanometers can be used directly as ammeters, and are the core element of many ohmmeters and voltmeters.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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