Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A gage or measure of depth or height of the flow of the river Nile. A flood-gage of this nature is mentioned by Herodotus; and ancient records of inundations have reference to the old Nilometer on the western bank at Memphis, Modern records are officially tabulated from the Nilometer on the island of Er-Rodah, near Cairo, which consists of a pit or well in communication with the Nile, in the middle of which stands a marble column inscribed with height-indications in cubits. The rise of the water at Cairo during a favorable inundation is about 25 feet.
- n. Hence, any instrument for making a continuous and automatic register of riverheights.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. An instrument for measuring the rise of water in the Nile during its periodical flood.
“It has been taken for a kind of nilometer, for a sculptor's or modeller's stand, or a painter's easel for an altar with four superimposed tables, or a sort of pedestal bearing four door-lintels, for a series of four columns placed one behind another, of which the capitals only are visible, one above the other, etc.”
“Or we can spend precious hours trying to find and steal a boat and cross a flooding river to the nilometer.”
“At this time of year, the nilometer should have been mostly dry, the waters of the Nile receding by October.”
“With the Nile rising all around them, she was willing to bet that the water filling the cavern beneath the nilometer would be cold and fast-moving.”
“He made no motion to return to the nilometer entrance.”
““The nilometer on Elephantine Island,” Kira murmured.”
“They crossed the broad Nile exactly at the spot where the nilometer, or river guage, measures from day to day, and from year to year, the increasing or decreasing treasures of the stream, and landed at a village where thousands of eggs are made into chickens by the process of artificial incubation.”
“The nilometer built by the Calif Maouya is still extant.”
“This island had once boasted not only a nilometer, which measured the rise and fall of flood waters, but also a well that had been used by Erastosthenes in 1230 B.C. to calculate the diameter of the Earth.”
“There is a long flight of steps there (a nilometer?), on which Rā resteth when he determineth to prolong life to mankind.”
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