gyroscope

[ jahy-ruh-skohp ]
/ ˈdʒaɪ rəˌskoʊp /

noun

an apparatus consisting of a rotating wheel so mounted that its axis can turn freely in certain or all directions, and capable of maintaining the same absolute direction in space in spite of movements of the mountings and surrounding parts: used to maintain equilibrium, determine direction, etc.

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Also called gyro.

Origin of gyroscope

First recorded in 1855–60; borrowed from the French word gyroscope, a combination of gyro- (Greek gŷros meaning “ring, circle”) + -scope (New Latin -scopium, from Greek skopeîn meaning “to look at”). It was coined by French physicist Léon Foucault in 1852, and so named because the purpose of a gyroscope is to show the rotation of the earth through the observation of a wheel on its axis.

OTHER WORDS FROM gyroscope

gy·ro·scop·ic [jahy-ruh-skop-ik], /ˌdʒaɪ rəˈskɒp ɪk/, adjectivegy·ro·scop·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for gyroscope

British Dictionary definitions for gyroscope

gyroscope

gyrostat

/ (ˈdʒaɪrəˌskəʊp) /

noun

a device containing a disc rotating on an axis that can turn freely in any direction so that the disc resists the action of an applied couple and tends to maintain the same orientation in space irrespective of the movement of the surrounding structureSometimes shortened to: gyro

Derived forms of gyroscope

gyroscopic (ˌdʒaɪrəˈskɒpɪk), adjectivegyroscopically, adverbgyroscopics, 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 gyroscope

gyroscope
[ jīrə-skōp′ ]

An instrument consisting of a heavy disk or wheel spun rapidly about an axis like a top. The angular momentum of the disk causes it to resist changes in the direction of its axis of rotation, due to the principle of conservation of angular momentum. Because of the gyroscope's tendency to remain oriented in one direction, it is used as a stabilizing device in missiles, as well as in the navigation and piloting systems of airplanes, ships, rockets, and other vehicles.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.