Origin of galvanometer

First recorded in 1795–1805; galvano- + -meter Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for galvanometer

Historical Examples of galvanometer

  • To indicate the effect, he included a galvanometer in the circuit of the battery and the button.

  • An instrument which reveals this condition is called a galvanometer.

  • A galvanometer (D) or other current-testing means is placed in this circuit.

  • The galvanometer before which Devin was seated apparently agreed.

    The Ultimate Weapon

    John Wood Campbell

  • Reverse the coil and the galvanometer swings in the opposite direction.


    Willis Eugene Tower

British Dictionary definitions for galvanometer


  1. any sensitive instrument for detecting or measuring small electric currents
Derived Formsgalvanometric (ˌɡælvənəʊˈmɛtrɪk, ɡælˌvænə-) or galvanometrical, adjectivegalvanometrically, adverbgalvanometry, 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 galvanometer

1802, from comb. form of galvanism + -meter.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

galvanometer in Science


  1. An instrument that detects small electric currents and indicates their direction and relative strength. Current flowing through the galvanometer passes through a coil near a magnetized needle on a pivot; the strength of the current in the coil regulates the strength of a magnetic field that displaces the needle. Galvanometers can be used directly as ammeters, and are the core element of many ohmmeters and voltmeters.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.