[ spee-dom-i-ter, spi- ]
/ spiˈdɒm ɪ tər, spɪ- /


an instrument on an automobile or other vehicle for indicating the rate of travel in miles or kilometers per hour.

Nearby words

  1. speeder,
  2. speedfreak,
  3. speeding,
  4. speedingly,
  5. speedo,
  6. speedrun,
  7. speedster,
  8. speedwalk,
  9. speedway,
  10. speedwell

Origin of speedometer

First recorded in 1900–05; speed + -o- + -meter

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for speedometer


/ (spɪˈdɒmɪtə) /


a device fitted to a vehicle to measure and display the speed of travelSee also mileometer
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 speedometer



1904, from speed + -meter. A Germanic-Greek hybrid and thus execrated by purists.

[T]he ancient Greeks & Romans knew what speed was, & yet no-one supposes they called it speed, whence it follows that speedo- & speedometer are barbarisms. [Fowler]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for speedometer


[ spĭ-dŏmĭ-tər ]

An instrument for indicating the speed of a vehicle, typically by measuring the rate of rotation of a wheel or fan whose rate of rotation depends on the speed of the vehicle. Compare odometer.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.