• synonyms


  1. an instrument that indicates the approximate humidity of the air.
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Origin of hygroscope

First recorded in 1655–65; hygro- + -scope
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hygroscope

Historical Examples

  • Certain forms of hygroscope are popularly miscalled barometers.


    Charles Fitzhugh Talman

  • The chimney top with the dowel attached to it below is made to revolve so that the Hygroscope may be adjusted.

  • The third is, the hygroscope, moving the punch, which shews the difference between the moistest and driest airs.

British Dictionary definitions for hygroscope


  1. any device that indicates the humidity of the air without necessarily measuring it
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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

hygroscope in Science


  1. An instrument that records changes in atmospheric humidity. Unlike a hygrometer, a hygroscope only indicates a change in relative humidity, without measuring the magnitude of the change.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.