slide rule

noun
  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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for slide-rule

Historical Examples of slide-rule


British Dictionary definitions for slide-rule

slide rule

noun obsolete
  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

Word Origin and History for slide-rule
n.

also slide rule, mathematical calculating tool, 1838, from slide (v.) + rule (n.). So called for its method of operation. Earlier sliding-rule (1660s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper