[ ree-uh-stat ]

  1. 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

Other words from rheostat

  • rhe·o·stat·ic, adjective

Words Nearby rheostat

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use rheostat in a sentence

  • The binding post E of the rheostat is connected to the base binding post J.

  • This can, however, be accomplished by means of a small rheostat placed in series with the motor.

  • The rheostat acts in an electrical circuit in just the same way a valve does in a hydraulic circuit.

  • A very simple and inexpensive rheostat may be constructed as follows: Procure a piece of thin fiber, about 1/16 in.

  • That gives you your direction, and the rheostat here at the belt changes the velocity.

    Islands of Space | John W Campbell

British Dictionary definitions for rheostat


/ (ˈriːəˌstæt) /

  1. 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 of rheostat

  • 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

Scientific definitions for rheostat


[ ə-stăt′ ]

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