from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A variable inductor used to measure variations in terrestrial magnetism.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An instrument used in comparing the intensity of magnetic forces, especially the magnetic force of the earth at different points—for example, as varied by local causes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Elec.) An instrument for comparing magnetic forces, esp. in the earth's magnetic field.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An instrument used to measure variations in a magnetic field
  • noun A rate-of-climb indicator

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

  • noun a measuring instrument for measuring variations in a magnetic field


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • My eyes wander up two entries, skipping over the prefixes vari- and vario- (as in variometer) to the delightful word, vara n AmerSp. fr Span., pole, fr L., forked pole, fr fem of varas bent, bow-legged (1831) : a Texas unit of length equal to 33.33 inches (84.66 centimeters).


  • Readings from altimeter, variometer, airspeed indicator, attitude indicator — those were real.

    Typhoon Season

  • The telegraph sending keys, field and battery switch, dry battery, variometer and antenna reel are the only units included inside the fuselage.

    The Radio Boys Trailing a Voice or, Solving a Wireless Mystery

  • Potentiometer, variometer, variocoupler, radio frequency, amplification, loop aërials, audion and grids -- no, I am not saying these words to show off.

    Radio Boys Loyalty Bill Brown Listens In

  • The variometer emits an audible signal, and pilots can tell by the frequency and pitch how fast they're climbing or descending.


  • The then Editor of QST wrote: "We have tested most of the circuits used by the Britishers and find them one and all decidedly inferior to our standard American regenerative circuit using variometer tuning in secondary and tertiary circuits.

    The Dawn of Amateur Radio in the U.K. and Greece: a personal view


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

  • measures 'magnetic appeal'?

    September 4, 2010