[ ree-uh-stat ]
/ ˈri əˌstæt /

noun Electricity.

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

First recorded in 1843; rheo- + -stat

Related forms

rhe·o·stat·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rheostat

British Dictionary definitions for rheostat


/ (ˈriːəˌstæt) /


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

Derived Forms

rheostatic, adjective
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

Science definitions for rheostat


[ rēə-stăt′ ]

See under resistor.
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