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

  • n. An instrument used to measure the rotations per minute of a rotating shaft.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A device for measuring the revolutions per minute (RPMs) of a revolving shaft, as with the driveshaft of an automobile.
  • n. A device for measuring or indicating velocity or speed, as of blood, a river, a machine, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An instrument for measuring the velocity, or indicating changes in the velocity, of a moving body or substance.
  • n. An instrument for measuring the velocity of running water in a river or canal, consisting of a wheel with inclined vanes, which is turned by the current. The rotations of the wheel are recorded by clockwork.
  • n. An instrument for showing at any moment the speed of a revolving shaft, consisting of a delicate revolving conical pendulum which is driven by the shaft, and the action of which by change of speed moves a pointer which indicates the speed on a graduated dial.
  • n. An instrument for measuring the velocity of the blood; a hæmatachometer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An instrument for measuring velocity.

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

  • n. measuring instrument for indicating speed of rotation


Greek takhos, speed + -meter.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Greek tachy-, 'fast' + -meter (Wiktionary)


  • To wit: The tachometer is the size of a wristwatch tucked into the left corner behind the steering wheel you can switch the display on the LCD screen, while the option for connecting to an iPhone takes prime and primary placement in the center console screen. News

  • Now, there's a reason that, for about as long as we've had motorcars, a tachometer has been a round face with a needle: it works beautifully.

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  • The tachometer is a logical choice, but I have a better idea: tap into pin #34 of the EEC-IV computer so the lights run off fuel flow calculations.

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  • The digital instrumentation panel on the dash features a speedometer, tachometer, odometer, two trip meters, and hour meter, fuel gauge, clock, and service indicators.

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  • But what most flabbergasted me was the instrument panel — the speedometer, the tachometer, the fuel and temperature gauges.

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  • My foot mashed the accelerator to the floor and I caught sight of the tachometer needle in my peripheral vision arcing up, higher and higher.

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  • Among its features: a solid stainless casing treated with a film of ionized ceramic and metal that creates a slick, impervious surface; quartz movement with a 12-hour chronograph function; date display; tachometer (it can measure speed over a known distance) and really bright luminous hands and numerals.

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  • What I can vouch for, after wearing this last deer season in woods from Saskatchewan to New York, is that the chronograph works, the date display works, the tachometer works, and the thing keeps time as only a Swiss watch can.

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  • The one on the left presents vehicle information, such as miles traveled, and allows you to customize some of the gauges so that, for instance, you can finally banish that tachometer you never use in favor of, say, a digital readout on gas-mileage efficiency.

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  • Also, the Hyundai shares with its larger sibling Sonata a tendency to get a bit thrashy at certain parts of the tachometer.

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