Definitions

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

  • n. An instrument for copying a plane figure to a desired scale, consisting of styluses for tracing and copying mounted on four jointed rods in the form of a parallelogram with extended sides.
  • n. A similarly jointed framework, such as a power-collecting trolley on an electric locomotive or an extensible telephone arm.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mechanical linkage based on parallelograms causing two objects to move in parallel; notably as a drawing aid.
  • n. A pattern printed on a document to reduce the ease of photocopying.
  • n. A similarly-formed conductive device, now usually Z-shaped, that collects electric current from overhead lines for trains and trams.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An instrument for copying plans, maps, and other drawings, on the same, or on a reduced or an enlarged, scale.
  • n. An electrical conducting device consisting of a collapsible frame resembling a pantograph{1}, connected to the top of an electrically-powered vehicle such as a trolley, and used to conduct electrical current between the vehicle and an overhead electric wire, which supplies the power to the vehicle. The variable height of the pantograph ensures that it can move to follow variations in the height of the overhead wires, and thus make constant contact with the wires.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An instrument for the mechanical copying of engravings, diagrams, plans, etc., either upon the same scale or upon a reduced or an enlarged scale.
  • n. A device made of pairs of perforated arms joined together and used for reducing the cross-head motion of an engine for the purpose of indicating; a reducing motion used in taking indicator-cards of engines and working on the reducing principle of the ordinary pantograph.

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

  • n. mechanical device used to copy a figure or plan on a different scale

Etymologies

Greek panto-, all; see pantomime + -graph.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French pantographe, from panto- (from Ancient Greek παντός (pantos), genitive singular of πᾶν (pan, "all")) and -graphe (from γράφειν (graphein, "to write")) (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Under the refit plan, the 57 Voyager trains used by CrossCountry would receive an additional carriage fitted with a pantograph, which is attached to the roof of a train and draws down electricity from overhead lines.

    Bombardier offered fresh hope with £120m CrossCountry deal

  • The pantograph is a simple apparatus for copying drawings, maps, designs, etc., on a reduced or enlarged scale, or to the same size as the original.

    Things To Make

  • This kind of pantograph machine has long been the traditional means of manufacturing wooden figures in many of South Tyrol's valleys.

    Science Blog - Science news straight from the source

  • The pantograph is a device constructed from four strips of wood about 1/4 "x 3/4" x 16 ".a. Holes are drilled in each stick at one-inch intervals.

    Chapter 6

  • A DfT spokesperson said: The DfT is looking into the possibility of upgrading the existing fleet of diesel CrossCountry Voyager trains by adding an additional carriage with a pantograph.

    Bombardier offered fresh hope with £120m CrossCountry deal

  • I used a pantograph on it (Oriental Illusion) which I thought would add some flow without being too busy - and overall, I'm very pleased with the effect.

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • His invention for magnifying maps, the pantograph, can still be purchased in stationary stores.

    Barney Teaches a "Scientific Fact"

  • In its simplest form the console would look like the patent application image: in the center would be the master score, and the musician - or Jim MacDonald - would follow it using a metal pin connected to a pantograph system which in turn moved a lamp throwing a light circle, not much larger than an inch in diameter, on copies of the score marked for that specific track.

    The Iron Pencil - Re-recording and Mixing at Walt Disney Productions

  • The group's usage of diesel would therefore increase and the efficiencies of the pantograph systems would be lost while the power reduction continued.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • "A variety of actions have been taken by Kumba, including a decision to cease all electricity power-assisted trucking (pantograph system) in the short-term," the company said.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

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Comments

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  • I had a pantograph, many, many years ago. I used it to enlarge clip art for various projects. After the personal computer and Illustrator, etc... came along, I sold it to a teacher at a yard sale. A very handy *little* device. Didn't Thos. Jefferson use one for making copies of documents?

    July 22, 2010

  • “A Metro-North spokesman said the problem was caused when the devices on top of several trains that pull electricity from the overhead lines tore down the wires just west of the Greenwich, Conn., station.

    Railroad officials were unsure on Saturday how the devices — known as pantographs — were able to bring down the power lines, but they suspected the recent heat wave might have played a role.”

    The New York Times, Thousands Stranded as New Haven Line Shuts Down, by M. Amedeo Tumolillo and Colin Moynihan, July 10, 2010

    July 11, 2010

  • Also used to measure saliva by Pavlov

    October 26, 2009