Origin of odometer

1785–95, Americanism; variant of hodometer < Greek hodó(s) way + -meter
Related formso·do·met·ri·cal [oh-duh-me-tri-kuh l] /ˌoʊ dəˈmɛ trɪ kəl/, adjectiveo·dom·e·try, noun
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Historical Examples of odometer

British Dictionary definitions for odometer


  1. US and Canadian a device that records the number of miles that a bicycle or motor vehicle has travelledAlso called: mileometer
Derived Formsodometry, noun

Word Origin for odometer

C18 hodometer, from Greek hodos way + -meter
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 odometer

1791, from French odomètre (1724), from Greek hodos "way" (see cede) + -meter. First recorded in writings of Thomas Jefferson.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

odometer in Science


  1. An instrument for indicating the distance traveled by a vehicle, typically by measuring the number of rotations of a wheel or fan whose rate of rotation depends on the speed of the vehicle. Compare speedometer.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.