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

  • n. A device for measuring the penetrating power of radiation, especially x-rays.
  • n. A device for measuring the penetrability of semisolids.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mechanical device that measures the ease of penetration of an object into a semisolid.
  • n. A device that measures the penetrating power of electromagnetic radiation (especially X-rays).


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • A "penetrometer" on the bottom of the probe poked into the ground.

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  • In addition, it performed twenty-five soil analyses with its x-ray fluorescence spectrometer and used its penetrometer at 500 different locations.

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  • One technique employs a penetrometer that is pushed into the frozen active layer to measure the strength and thickness of the frozen zone.

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  • The strength of the block can be checked with a pocket penetrometer.

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  • Similarly, the equipment for testing the quality of hardened earth construction mortars, plasters and renders - eg using a pocket penetrometer or pendulum scleroscope

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  • The density of blocks can be determined by means of a pocket penetrometer, which measures the resistance to penetration of a plunger for a fixed depth of penetration, and comparing it to a predetermined threshold of acceptability.

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  • 'And just what,' said the Captain, 'is a penetrometer?'

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  • Following the failure of the first penetrometer, there had been a hasty conference to decide the next step.

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  • There was a feeling of unusual excitement aboard Galaxy when the penetrometer was launched - and even the inevitable jokes were muted.

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  • The first penetrometer was launched, with vulgar comments from the crew, and two hours later drove like a hypodermic needle into the festering satellite.

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