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

  • n. An instrument used to determine the angle of the earth's magnetic field in respect to the horizontal plane.
  • n. An instrument for showing the inclination of an aircraft or ship relative to the horizontal.
  • n. See clinometer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An instrument that displays the angle of an aircraft relative to the horizon
  • n. An instrument that measures magnetic dip; a dip circle
  • n. A surveying instrument that measures angles of inclination or elevation; a clinometer

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In magnetism, an apparatus for determining the vertical component of the earth's magnetic force.
  • n. An instrument for ascertaining the slope of an embankment; a clinometer or batter-level.

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

  • n. an instrument used by surveyors in order to measure an angle of inclination or elevation
  • n. an instrument showing the angle that an aircraft makes with the horizon
  • n. a measuring instrument for measuring the angle of magnetic dip (as from an airplane)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "There really was not much to say—not at first—but it was noted a moment later that the inclinometer was registering a twelve- to fifteen-degree starboard list—nothing to attract more than a passing glance if the ship had been following a zigzag course. But the Indianapolis was on a true course."
    —Thomas Helm, Ordeal by Sea: The Tragedy of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, 1963 (New York: Signet, 2001), 53

    November 14, 2008