- an instrument for receiving and recording simultaneously tracings of variations in certain body activities.
- a test using such an instrument to determine if a person is telling the truth.
- lie detector.
- an apparatus for producing copies of a drawing or writing.
- a prolific or versatile author.
- to test (a person) with a polygraph.
Origin of polygraph
- an instrument for the simultaneous electrical or mechanical recording of several involuntary physiological activities, including blood pressure, skin resistivity, pulse rate, respiration, and sweating, used esp as a would-be lie detector
- a device for producing copies of written, printed, or drawn matter
Word Origin and History for polygraphist
1794, "mechanical device for making multiple copies of something written or drawn," from Greek polygraphos "writing much," from polys "much" (see poly-) + graphos "writing," from graphein "to write" (see -graphy).
Meaning "instrument for recording several pulsations of the body at the same time" is 1871; first used as a lie detector 1921. Related: Polygraphy (1590s); polygraphic (1771).
- An instrument that simultaneously records changes in physiological processes such as heartbeat, blood pressure, and respiration.