[ kal-uh-breyt ]
See synonyms for: calibratecalibratedcalibratingcalibration on

verb (used with object),cal·i·brat·ed, cal·i·brat·ing.
  1. to determine, check, or rectify the graduation of (any instrument giving quantitative measurements).

  2. to divide or mark with gradations, graduations, or other indexes of degree, quantity, etc., as on a thermometer, measuring cup, or the like.

  1. to determine the correct range for (an artillery gun, mortar, etc.) by observing where the fired projectile hits.

  2. to plan or devise (something) carefully so as to have a precise use, application, appeal, etc.: a sales strategy calibrated to rich investors.

Origin of calibrate

First recorded in 1860–65; calib(e)r + -ate1

Other words from calibrate

  • cal·i·bra·tion [kal-uh-brey-shuhn], /ˌkæl əˈbreɪ ʃən/, noun
  • cal·i·bra·tor, cal·i·brat·er, noun
  • re·cal·i·brate, verb (used with or without object), re·cal·i·brat·ed, re·cal·i·brat·ing.
  • un·cal·i·brat·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for calibrate


/ (ˈkælɪˌbreɪt) /

  1. to measure the calibre of (a gun, mortar, etc)

  2. to mark (the scale of a measuring instrument) so that readings can be made in appropriate units

  1. to determine the accuracy of (a measuring instrument, etc)

  2. to determine or check the range and accuracy of (a piece of artillery)

Derived forms of calibrate

  • calibration, noun
  • calibrator or calibrater, 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

Scientific definitions for calibrate


[ kălə-brāt′ ]

  1. To check, adjust, or standardize a measuring instrument, usually by comparing it with an accepted model.

  2. To measure the diameter of the inside of a tube.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.