[tuh-lem-i-ter, tel-uh-mee-ter]
  1. any of certain devices or attachments for determining distances by measuring the angle subtending a known distance.
  2. Electricity. the complete measuring, transmitting, and receiving apparatus for indicating, recording, or integrating at a distance, by electrical translating means, the value of a quantity.
verb (used with object)
  1. to transmit (radio signals, data, etc.) automatically and at a distance, as between a ground station and an artificial satellite, space probe, or the like, especially in order to record information, operate guidance apparatus, etc.
verb (used without object)
  1. to telemeter radio signals, data, etc.

Origin of telemeter

First recorded in 1855–60; tele-1 + -meter
Related formstel·e·met·ric [tel-uh-me-trik] /ˌtɛl əˈmɛ trɪk/, adjectivetel·e·met·ri·cal·ly, adverbte·lem·e·try [tuh-lem-i-tree] /təˈlɛm ɪ tri/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for telemetry

Contemporary Examples of telemetry

  • While Neil and Buzz made ready to blast off, Houston read the telemetry looking for signs of trouble.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Man on the Moon

    The Daily Beast

    July 19, 2009

Historical Examples of telemetry

British Dictionary definitions for telemetry


  1. the use of radio waves, telephone lines, etc, to transmit the readings of measuring instruments to a device on which the readings can be indicated or recordedSee also radiotelemetry
  2. the measurement of linear distance using a tellurometer


  1. any device for recording or measuring a distant event and transmitting the data to a receiver or observer
  2. any device or apparatus used to measure a distance without directly comparing it with a measuring rod, etc, esp one that depends on the measurement of angles
  1. (tr) to obtain and transmit (data) from a distant source, esp from a spacecraft
Derived Formstelemetric (ˌtɛlɪˈmɛtrɪk) or telemetrical, adjectivetelemetrically, adverb
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 telemetry



1860, a rangefinder for surveying and artillery, from French télémètre (1852), from télé- "far" (see tele-) + mètre "meter" (see -meter). Used from 1953 for a pay-as-you-watch TV system with a coin box attached to the set.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

telemetry in Medicine


  1. The science and technology of automatic measurement and transmission of data by radio or other means from remote sources to receiving stations for recording and analysis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

telemetry in Science


  1. The measurement of data at a remote source and transmission of the data (typically by radio) to a monitoring station. Telemetry is used, for example, to track the movements of wild animals that have been tagged with radio transmitters, and to transmit meteorological data from weather balloons to weather stations.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

telemetry in Culture



Automatic measurement and transmission of data or information by such means as wire or (more commonly today) microwave relays from the source to a distant receiver.


Satellites transmit their data by telemetry.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.