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

  • n. An instrument for measuring potential differences in volts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An instrument for measuring electric potential in volts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An instrument for measuring in volts the differences of potential between different points of an electrical circuit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. It is a direct-reading instrument for the measurement of difference of potential between two points in an electric circuit, as between the terminals of a generator, battery, or electric lamp, or between the mains of a distributing circuit. Voltmeters for use on direct-current circuits are frequently strong-field galvanometers of high resistance, in which case the difference of potential between their terminals is proportional to the current flowing in the voltmeter circuit and is measured by the deflection of a coil suspended in a fixed magnetic field, or sometimes by the movement of a magnet in the field of a fixed coil. Various special forms of electrodynamometer are also used as voltmeters and such instruments are applicable alike to direct and to alternating-current circuits. In cases where it is preferable to have no flow of current in the voltmeter circuit, electrostatic voltmeters are employed. These are usually modifications of the quadrant electrometer of Lord Kelvin, in which a pointer attached to the needle of the instrument moves over a calibrated, direct-reading scale. Electrostatic voltmeters are equally serviceable on direct-and on alternating-current circuits and are especially adapted to measuring high voltages, from 1,000 to 20,000 volts.
  • n. An electrometer, or a high-resistance galvanometer, or a galvanometer combined with a resistance calibrated so that its indications show the number of volts E. M. F. in the circuit between its terminals. The cut shows one form of volt-meter, for the construction of which see ampere-meter.

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

  • n. meter that measures the potential difference between two points


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Oh, and as you seem to be technically uneducated a voltmeter is high impedance, it measures voltage (hence the name), it doesn’t apply a voltage.

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  • Yesterday I spent outside all day learning how to change my oil, change a tire, fix my taillights (wish I had a voltmeter with me though), and take apart my door to attempt to fix the automatic windows (we got the driver's side working!)

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  • Click on the electricity box and set the resistance parameters in such a way that the voltmeter shows 9V (upper resistance - 3, two lower ones - 1 and 3, right one - 7).

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  • “Wire cutters, strippers, screwdrivers, maybe a voltmeter and some—”

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  • We're not talking about whether you read the numbers on a voltmeter or in a centrifuge the same way.

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  • Of course, a voltage spike could still fry them, but that has nothing to do with the nominal voltage or the voltage that you would measure with a typical voltmeter.


  • • Run engine until batteries right up and voltmeter showing F

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  • Then he hooked it up again to the voltmeter on his control board.

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  • Wires from the battery were connected to a voltmeter and other electrical instruments.

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