- an adjustable resistor so constructed that its resistance may be changed without opening the circuit in which it is connected, thereby controlling the current in the circuit.
Origin of rheostat
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for rheostat
He moved the rheostat under his hand, and the thunder slackened.
That gives you your direction, and the rheostat here at the belt changes the velocity.Islands of Space
John W Campbell
To the left of this coil was a large relay switch, and a rheostat control.
Slowly he closed the rheostat and put the power into the coil.
The Commander hobbled toward it, and manipulated a rheostat.The Sky Trap
Frank Belknap Long
- a variable resistance, usually consisting of a coil of wire with a terminal at one end and a sliding contact that moves along the coil to tap off the current
Word Origin and History for rheostat
1843, coined by English physicist Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875) from Greek rheos "a flowing, stream" (from PIE root *sreu-, see rheum) + -stat "regulating device." Related: Rheostatic.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- See under resistor.
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