Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A device consisting of a spinning mass, typically a disk or wheel, mounted on a base so that its axis can turn freely in one or more directions and thereby maintain its orientation regardless of any movement of the base.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an apparatus composed of a wheel which spins inside of a frame (gimbal) and causes the balancing of the frame in any direction or position. In the form of a gyroscopic stabilizer, used to help keep aircraft and ships steady.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A rotating wheel, mounted in a ring or rings, for illustrating the dynamics of rotating bodies, the composition of rotations, etc. It was devised by Professor W. R. Johnson, in 1832, by whom it was called the rotascope.
  • n. A form of the above apparatus, invented by M. Foucault, mounted so delicately as to render visible the rotation of the earth, through the tendency of the rotating wheel to preserve a constant plane of rotation, independently of the earth's motion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An instrument consisting of a fly-wheel, the axis of which can turn freely in any direction, designed to illustrate the dynamics of rotating bodies.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. rotating mechanism in the form of a universally mounted spinning wheel that offers resistance to turns in any direction

Etymologies

From French coined in 1856 by physicist Leon Foucault, from Ancient Greek γῦρος (guros, "circle") and σκοπός (skopos, "watcher"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "I realized that as soon as I began making airships, and so I devised what I call a gyroscope equilibrizer or stabilizer.

    Dick Hamilton's Airship, or, a Young Millionaire in the Clouds

  • I applaud Apple for its innovation in design, though think it odd that a gyroscope is a

    Original Signal - The best of Web 2.0

  • Wikipedia's definition, "A gyroscope is a device for measuring or maintaining orientation, based on the principles of conservation of angular momentum."

    Daring Fireball

  • While past Nintendo accessories (such as the Balance Board) required occasional calibration, surely the constant nagging needs of a gyroscope is a bug that Nintendo would like to work out.

    The Wiire

  • The robot must have some kind of gyroscope inside it for balance.

    Ball Balancing

  • The committee urges that NASA commit to a servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope that accomplishes the objectives of the originally planned SM-4 mission, including both the replacement of the present instruments with the two instruments already developed for flight-the Wide Field Camera-3 and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph- and the engineering objectives, such as gyroscope and battery replacements.

    NASA Watch: Hubble: July 2004 Archives

  • For he believed that if he had a can of cold beer in his belly it formed a kind of gyroscope which made him unusually sensitive to the sea and that when this beer sloshed about it harmonized with the elements and he became one with the sea and the sky and the heaving deck and the heart of the incoming pilot.

    The Bridges at Toko-Ri

  • The new iPhone 4 has an electronic gyroscope which is supposed to be more sensitive than just an accelerometer.

    WMExperts

  • The Powerball is classified as the world's smallest hi-powered gyroscope which is designed to provide strong resistance at high revolutions meaning it makes and ideal fitness or therapeutic device for the arms - and is downright addictive to use and impossible to put down once you get the hang of it. online shopping for South African men, and I must admit, it's darn addictive!

    iMod

  • I can't say I know much about either the gyroscope or the aeroplane, but from what I hear the fellows at the office say it would seem to me that the gyroscope is a pretty good thing to keep off an aeroplane, not to put on it. "

    The Silent Bullet

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Comments

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  • "I still find gyroscopes a little freaky."

    November 17, 2007