- 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 rheostatic
The motors are controlled by rheostatic controllers, one for each motor.The New York Subway
- 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
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 rheostatic
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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