Definition of calibrate in English:



  • 1 Mark (a gauge or instrument) with a standard scale of readings.

    ‘the depth gauge is calibrated in centimetres’
    • ‘The CO 2 monitors were calibrated bi-weekly with CO 2 standards.’
    • ‘Each gauge is calibrated such that at a glance you can read how many ounces are in a bottle.’
    • ‘Computer software is used to calibrate the strain gauge and calculate blood flow measurements in the leg.’
    • ‘The coverage also includes the different tools available for calibrating your monitor and the differences between the various tools.’
    • ‘Statistical sampling methods are just like any other kind of scientific instrument in that they must be calibrated against known results.’
    • ‘Reference data aids analysis and interpretation of remotely sensed data; calibrates sensors; and verifies information extracted from remote sensing data.’
    • ‘Light meters are calibrated to give you good exposure for subjects of average brightness; fortunately, most outdoor subjects are of average brightness.’
    • ‘The model was calibrated on the basis of the similar experimental results.’
    • ‘The arrow indicates the point at which the molecular clock is calibrated (140 MYA)’
    • ‘On arrival in Penobscot Bay they set up their equipment, calibrated their clocks with other astronomical observations, and confidently awaited the eclipse.’
    • ‘The species in both genera are perennials, thus minimizing the effect of generation time on substitution rates, while all other slower rates were calibrated for trees or shrubs.’
    • ‘Yes, but the sensors were calibrated to detect microbursts which have much shorter wavelengths.’
    • ‘Both flow meters were calibrated against a bubble meter.’
    • ‘In the absence of an adequate fossil record, geological events, rather than the first appearances of sister taxa in the geological record, are often used to calibrate molecular clocks.’
    • ‘The new finding by Wikelski and colleagues suggests that the songbirds' magnetic compass is calibrated, perhaps on a daily basis, by visual cues.’
    • ‘To calibrate chlorophyll meter readings, it is best to have one or more strips in the field with nitrogen applied at a rate high enough to be non-yield limiting to serve as a reference.’
    • ‘All sensors are calibrated to a common reference frame, and can be used interchangeably with the same measurement program.’
    • ‘Temperature sensors were calibrated on several occasions against a standard thermometer.’
    • ‘The clocks were calibrated taking observations of the Sun and of a star.’
    compute, work out, reckon, figure, enumerate, determine, evaluate, quantify, assess, cost, put a figure on
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Correlate the readings of (an instrument) with those of a standard in order to check the instrument's accuracy.
      ‘a separate control experiment is then carried out to calibrate the calorimeter’
      • ‘The standards are necessary to calibrate the system and ensure accuracy.’
      • ‘Included with the samples of unknown composition are known samples, called standards, against which the unknowns can be checked and calibrated.’
      • ‘Once a year, scientists will perform a health check to monitor ‘critical systems, calibrate instruments and perform course corrections, if necessary’.’
      • ‘Units must conduct and track services on all categories of unit equipment and must calibrate tools.’
      • ‘To ensure rootworm control results, application equipment should be accurately calibrated to deliver the recommended rate.’
      • ‘The calorimeter was calibrated electrically.’
      • ‘Bevalac beams were used to calibrate and check out scientific equipment due to be carried on satellites or shuttle missions, and Bevalac experiments led to a better assessment of the risks associated with space flights.’
      • ‘When this happens, the clock is said to be properly calibrated or accurate or synchronized with the standard clock.’
      • ‘The Toro Co. unveiled the Toro Sprayer Calibration Tool, a computer-based tool to help check and calibrate sprayers as well as calculate product and water mixing rates.’
      • ‘The locations of the science targets identified before the self-calibration are also calibrated to centimeter-level accuracy.’
      • ‘The assay was performed according to the manufacturer's protocol and was calibrated with five standards ranging from 0.5 to 50 ng/mL.’
      • ‘Correctly calibrate the sprayer and check the nozzle output and adjustment before adding herbicide to a tank.’
      • ‘All sensor readings must be checked and calibrated.’
      • ‘The size of the finite element model width and depth were calibrated to provide correct correlation to the pile load test data.’
      • ‘So even though we can calibrate an instrument very accurately against an incandescent source, we don't know how well the instrument can subsequently measure the chromaticity of a particular artifact.’
      • ‘It is clearly important to have a precise C-value as a standard, as without this it is impossible to calibrate all other species accurately.’
      • ‘This sounds a little simplistic, but you'd be surprised how many airplanes out there haven't had their static systems checked or VORs calibrated.’
      • ‘Although this approach might be useful for establishing the errors on the correlation function after calibrating the instrument, it reveals little about the underlying mechanisms of noise.’
      • ‘This calibrates the nucleotide mutation rate for two mutagenesis centers, implies significance criteria for positional cloning efforts, and provides working estimates of effective genetic target sizes for selected phenotypes.’
      • ‘These results are permanently calibrated with international standards.’
      • ‘The calorimeter was calibrated using solid standards from Calorimetry Sciences Corporation as well as aqueous dispersions of highly pure disaturated PCs prepared in this laboratory.’
    2. 1.2Adjust (experimental results) to take external factors into account or to allow comparison with other data.
      ‘the radiocarbon results would need to be calibrated to convert them to calendar ages’
      • ‘A finely calibrated appreciation of weather is the result of Ritchie's four decades at the nets.’
      • ‘Regardless of the macroevolutionary issues at stake, most students of biodiversity would agree that there is value in calibrating global biodiversity trends through critical intervals.’
      • ‘They have mapped out their life and career changes months or even years in advance, each time carefully calibrating and adjusting for the implications.’
      • ‘It is impossible to calibrate influence but it seems likely the main impact of Mason and his cohorts was to talent spot young people in whom they saw potential.’
      • ‘But except under extraordinary circumstances, we had best focus on creating stability by calibrating the balance of power among states rather than revamping the balance of forces within them.’
      • ‘You may also check the final result in different browsers, a very important step that allows you to calibrate the web site for maximum compatibility.’
      • ‘Huckabay advocates using ‘adjusted range factors,’ which calibrate for pitching staffs, ballpark effects, and so on.’
      • ‘I suppose I should have stopped, if only because it seemed in such poor taste, calibrating my body's improvement as Dad's withered away.’
      • ‘The result is a competitive balance so well calibrated it's possible for any team to win.’
      • ‘He was concerned that mistakes could be made which could cost the public money and wanted to know if the systems employed had been properly calibrated and checked.’
      • ‘Each and every time, we mentally calibrate the results.’
      • ‘The system is calibrated to account for different camera locations in each park.’
      • ‘Although the two men pose for the picture, they, too, are props, for this image is not so much a double portrait as a carefully calibrated technical experiment.’
      • ‘It conveys no information other than how scared the government thinks you ought to be at this particular juncture, therefore allowing the government to calibrate the national mood with more precision than is usual.’
      • ‘Thanks to its extensive research operation, Fianna Fail had a much clearer picture of the electorate, which allowed them to calibrate their message carefully and to monitor and tweak it during the course of the campaign.’
      • ‘In particular, the Constitution, which British journalists regularly confuse with the Declaration of Independence, is calibrated so as to correct the arithmetical simplicities of an undifferentiated popular will.’
      • ‘It would be an interesting social experiment to calibrate both the academic and student intake on campuses according to the latest poll results and census surveys.’
      • ‘So voters may want to send all sorts of messages and deliver a whole range of finely calibrated judgments next month - but we cannot.’
      modify, alter, regulate, tune, fine-tune, calibrate, balance
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Carefully assess, set, or adjust (something abstract)
      ‘the regulators cannot properly calibrate the risks involved’
      ‘their carefully calibrated economic policies’
      • ‘It also set rules calibrating how quickly troops may increase their use of force to lethal levels, the general said.’
      • ‘The campaign also initially failed to calibrate their message to voters who pride themselves on making informed decisions.’
      • ‘The nightlife in any city is to be calibrated by its accessibility to the largest population groups.’
      • ‘I could have calibrated those words differently.’
      • ‘On the one hand, it's a subtly calibrated work of psychological imagination.’
      • ‘Instead, her defiance of emergency rule has been carefully calibrated.’
      • ‘Once in awhile, you'll also catch the cook sampling the wok's contents to calibrate your order.’
      • ‘The closing Obama speech is cautious, calibrated to cement the inroads he has made with voters whose comfort level with him has grown.’
      • ‘But I do know that over time I have been able to calibrate my eye pretty well.’
      • ‘That is how the merits of technology are calibrated.’
      • ‘But the lovely piano music, calibrated for conversation, and a fine dry martini helped us forgive and forget.’
      • ‘"All necessary resources will be deployed to meet the threat, calibrated to how it unfolds," he said.’
      • ‘We'll be calibrating a lot over the next few weeks.’
      • ‘The senior official said the proposals are calibrated to protect sovereignty.’
      • ‘We have a way of calibrating the sporting public's view of a team's odds.’
      • ‘And therefore, we can't calibrate our intelligence with our action.’
      • ‘But the album is so perfectly calibrated to ensure big sales that it's difficult not to straight out detest the record.’
      • ‘In the end it was respect for Bacon's carefully calibrated performance that kept me in my seat.’
      • ‘Like so much else that he wrote, 'A Golden Wedding' was precisely calibrated against contemporary taste.’
      • ‘Surely this subverts quite clearly the idea that mainstream British culture is something straightforward and easily calibrated.’


Mid 19th century: from calibre + -ate.