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caliper

or cal·li·per

[kal-uh-per]
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noun
  1. Usually calipers. an instrument for measuring thicknesses and internal or external diameters inaccessible to a scale, consisting usually of a pair of adjustable pivoted legs.
  2. any of various calibrated instruments for measuring thicknesses or distances between surfaces, usually having a screwed or sliding adjustable piece.Compare vernier caliper.
  3. thickness or depth, as of paper or a tree.
  4. Usually calipers. the pincers of an earwig.
  5. Automotive. the part of a disc-brake assembly that straddles the disc and presses the brake pads against it.
  6. a similar part used with a hand brake on a bicycle.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to measure with calipers.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to use calipers.
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Origin of caliper

First recorded in 1580–90; presumably variant of caliber
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

pegcomputesurveyfitevaluateaveragelimitrankmarkassessadjustgaugedeterminequantifyweighestimateregulatecheckcalibratesquare

Examples from the Web for caliper

Historical Examples

  • In case the bottom surface is used, 0.150 must be deducted from the reading of the caliper.

    Measuring Tools

    Unknown

  • It is a 26-inch caliper, and will caliper up to 34 inches diameter.

  • Then the legs are closed to remove the caliper, and are reset to the scribed line.

  • Then remove the caliper and measure the distance between the caliper points.

  • The method of adjusting a spring caliper is shown at Fig. 174, H.

    Aviation Engines

    Victor Wilfred Pag


British Dictionary definitions for caliper

caliper

noun
  1. the usual US spelling of calliper
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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 caliper

n.

1620s, short for calliper compass (1580s), a device used to measure caliber (q.v.). Related: Calipers.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

caliper in Medicine

caliper

n.
  1. An instrument consisting essentially of two curved hinged legs, used to measure thickness and distances.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

caliper in Science

caliper

[kălə-pər]
  1. An instrument consisting of two curved legs connected at a hinge, used to measure thickness and distance. Often used in the plural as calipers.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.