[ me-truh-nohm ]
/ ˈmɛ trəˌnoʊm /


a mechanical or electrical instrument that makes repeated clicking sounds at an adjustable pace, used for marking rhythm, especially in practicing music.

Nearby words

  1. metrologically,
  2. metrology,
  3. metrolymphangitis,
  4. metromalacia,
  5. metronidazole,
  6. metronomic,
  7. metronymic,
  8. metroparalysis,
  9. metropathia hemorrhagica,
  10. metropathy

Origin of metronome

1810–20; metro-1 + -nome < Greek nómos rule, law

Related formsmet·ro·nom·ic [me-truh-nom-ik] /ˌmɛ trəˈnɒm ɪk/, met·ro·nom·i·cal, adjectivemet·ro·nom·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for metronome

British Dictionary definitions for metronome


/ (ˈmɛtrəˌnəʊm) /


a mechanical device which indicates the exact tempo of a piece of music by producing a clicking sound from a pendulum with an adjustable period of swing
Derived Formsmetronomic (ˌmɛtrəˈnɒmɪk), adjective

Word Origin for metronome

C19: from Greek metron measure + nomos rule, law

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 metronome



mechanical musical time-keeper, 1815, coined in English from comb. form of Greek metron "measure" (see meter (n.2)) + -nomos "regulating," verbal adjective of nemein "to regulate" (see numismatics). The device invented 1815 by Johann Maelzel (1772-1838), German civil engineer and showman. Related: Metronomic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper