Origin of hypsometer

First recorded in 1860–65; hypso- + -meter
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hypsometer

Historical Examples of hypsometer

  • The hypsometer was not at that time an important instrument.

    My Attainment of the Pole

    Frederick A. Cook

  • After taking the reading we greedily drank the water which had been heated for the hypsometer.

    Inca Land

    Hiram Bingham

  • Associated words: altimetry, altimeter, hypsometry, hypsometer.

    Putnam's Word Book

    Louis A. Flemming

  • Mertz boiled the hypsometer when necessary to ascertain our elevation above sea-level.

  • An instrument sold by dealers for the measuring of heights is known as the hypsometer.

    The Teaching of Geometry

    David Eugene Smith

British Dictionary definitions for hypsometer



an instrument for measuring altitudes by determining the boiling point of water at a given altitude
any instrument used to calculate the heights of trees by triangulation
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

hypsometer in Science



An instrument used to determine land elevation by observing the atmospheric pressure as measured by the change in the boiling point of a liquid, usually water. Liquids boil at progressively lower temperatures as the atmospheric pressure decreases, and since atmospheric pressure decreases with altitude, the temperature at which the liquid boils is an indicator of the atmospheric pressure at that location and hence of the location's altitude.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.