- a device for performing mathematical calculations, consisting essentially of a ruler having a sliding piece moving along it, both marked with graduated, usually logarithmic, scales: now largely replaced by the electronic calculator.
Origin of slide rule
1655–65 for earlier sense; 1875–80 for current sense
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for slide-rule
Hoskins, there, he's going to be a slide-rule, jus' you wait and see.Breaking Point
James E. Gunn
Seaton threw down the papers and picked up his slide-rule, a twenty-inch trigonometrical duplex.Skylark Three
Edward Elmer Smith
I watched him copy the indicated figures, surround them with formulas, and solve mysterious problems with a slide-rule.
The slide-rule (see Calculating Machines) is a simple apparatus for the mechanical application of the methods of logarithms.
This was a little rocket canister which had just enough poof, the slide-rule boys had said, to stop the rotation of the bird.The Trouble with Telstar
- a mechanical calculating device consisting of two strips, one sliding along a central groove in the other, each strip graduated in two or more logarithmic scales of numbers, trigonometric functions, etc. It employs the same principles as logarithm tables
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 slide-rule
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper