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potentiometer

[puh-ten-shee-om-i-ter]
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noun Electricity.
  1. a device for measuring electromotive force or potential difference by comparison with a known voltage.
  2. voltage divider.
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Origin of potentiometer

1880–85; potenti(al) + -o- + -meter
Related formspo·ten·ti·o·met·ric [puh-ten-shee-uh-me-trik] /pəˌtɛn ʃi əˈmɛ trɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for potentiometer

Historical Examples

  • The potentiometer must never be shunted around the B battery or the latter will soon run down.

    The Radio Amateur's Hand Book

    A. Frederick Collins

  • In using either of these heterodyne receivers be sure to carefully adjust the B battery by means of the potentiometer.

    The Radio Amateur's Hand Book

    A. Frederick Collins

  • Don't connect a potentiometer across the B battery or it will speedily run down.

    The Radio Amateur's Hand Book

    A. Frederick Collins

  • Don't expect to get the best results with a gas-content detector tube without using a potentiometer.

    The Radio Amateur's Hand Book

    A. Frederick Collins

  • By means of a potentiometer the galvanometer spot may be brought back to the original position.


British Dictionary definitions for potentiometer

potentiometer

noun
  1. an instrument for determining a potential difference or electromotive force by measuring the fraction of it that balances a standard electromotive force
  2. a device with three terminals, two of which are connected to a resistance wire and the third to a brush moving along the wire, so that a variable potential can be tapped off: used in electronic circuits, esp as a volume control
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Sometimes shortened to: pot
Derived Formspotentiometry, 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

Word Origin and History for potentiometer

n.

1868, a hybrid formed from comb. form of Latin potentia "power" (see potential) + Greek-derived -meter.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

potentiometer in Science

potentiometer

[pə-tĕn′shē-ŏmĭ-tər]
  1. A mechanical variable resistor. See more at resistor.
  2. An instrument for measuring an unknown voltage by comparison with a known voltage, such as that of a generator.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.