[ vur-nee-er ]
/ ˈvɜr ni ər /


Also vernier scale. a small, movable, graduated scale running parallel to the fixed graduated scale of a sextant, theodolite, barometer, etc., and used for measuring a fractional part of one of the divisions of the fixed scale.
Machinery. an auxiliary device for giving a piece of apparatus a higher adjustment accuracy.


equipped with a vernier: a vernier barometer.

Origin of vernier

First recorded in 1760–70; named after P. Vernier

Definition for vernier (2 of 2)


[ vur-nee-er; French ver-nyey ]
/ ˈvɜr ni ər; French vɛrˈnyeɪ /


Pierre [pyer] /pyɛr/, 1580–1637, French mathematician and inventor. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vernier

British Dictionary definitions for vernier


/ (ˈvɜːnɪə) /


a small movable scale running parallel to the main graduated scale in certain measuring instruments, such as theodolites, used to obtain a fractional reading of one of the divisions on the main scale
an auxiliary device for making a fine adjustment to an instrument, usually by means of a fine screw thread
(modifier) relating to or fitted with a verniera vernier scale; a vernier barometer

Word Origin for vernier

C18: named after Paul Vernier (1580–1637), French mathematician, who described the scale
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 vernier



1766, device for making precise measurements, from name of inventor, French mathematician Paul Vernier (1580-1637), who described it in a tract published 1631.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for vernier


[ vĕr-nyā ]
Pierre 1580-1637

French mathematician and maker of scientific instruments, known especially for his invention of an auxiliary scale (named after him) used for obtaining a highly precise reading of a subdivision of an ordinary scale.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.