slide rule

See synonyms for slide rule on
  1. a device for performing mathematical calculations, consisting essentially of a ruler having a sliding piece moving along it, both marked with graduated, usually logarithmic, scales: now largely replaced by the electronic calculator.

Origin of slide rule

1655–65 for earlier sense; 1875–80 for current sense Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use slide rule in a sentence

  • I walked to Greenwich, studying the slide rule for measuring of timber, which is very fine.

  • I swallowed, and took out my notebook and pencil, and laid my pocket slide rule in front of me.

    The Professional Approach | Charles Leonard Harness
  • He readjusted the slide rule and slid the hairline over a bit.

    Islands of Space | John W Campbell
  • He sat in the big chair with his feet sticking straight out in front of him and played with a slide rule.

    What Rough Beast? | Jefferson Highe
  • The use of a slide rule will make this transference to a new average very easy.

    The Science of Human Nature | William Henry Pyle

British Dictionary definitions for slide rule

slide rule

  1. a mechanical calculating device consisting of two strips, one sliding along a central groove in the other, each strip graduated in two or more logarithmic scales of numbers, trigonometric functions, etc. It employs the same principles as logarithm tables

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