Definition of indicator in English:



  • 1A thing that indicates the state or level of something.

    ‘car ownership is frequently used as an indicator of affluence’
    • ‘Increases in the consumption of these products is less an indicator of level of development than kind of development.’
    • ‘Sperm morphology - its size and shape - is a significant indicator of fertility levels.’
    • ‘So the unemployment rate is a leading indicator of both economic and political strength.’
    • ‘Educational levels of parents, a standard indicator of social and economic class, differ markedly for younger and older theological students.’
    • ‘A figure above 50 is an indicator of economic expansion and a figure below 50 indicates a contraction of the economy.’
    • ‘Generally speaking, the number of ads is a rough indicator of the economic dynamism of the surveyed country.’
    • ‘Land holding in rural areas is a major indicator of economic status and social position.’
    • ‘The IQ tests are used in industry and are regarded as being an indicator of future performance in the office or lecture room.’
    • ‘The presence of good satire is a fair indicator of the level of free speech you have.’
    • ‘Standardized achievement test scores are also used as an indicator of academic performance.’
    • ‘We chose educational level as an indicator of socioeconomic status.’
    • ‘As many have noted, the state of a country's prisons is a telling indicator of its level of civilization.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the jump in oil prices is reflected in the trade deficit - an indicator of the unsatisfactory level of competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy.’
    • ‘They are a poor indicator of the level of district health board output, overall.’
    • ‘The most reliable scale is the Global Severity Index, an indicator of general stress level.’
    • ‘A key indicator of the high level of points being issued for the various offences is the fact that more than 7,000 drivers were issued with points last month alone.’
    • ‘Three of the ten indicators that make up the leading index increased in June.’
    • ‘The stock market has long been seen as a leading indicator of economic growth.’
    • ‘The results suggest that the frequency of publication of financial statements may be an indicator of economic performance.’
    • ‘Airlines often act as a leading indicator of the general economic environment due to their high sensitivity to interest rates, energy prices and labor costs.’
    measure, gauge, barometer, index, mark, sign, signal
    View synonyms
  • 2A device providing specific information on the state or condition of something, in particular.

    1. 2.1[usually with modifier]A gauge or meter of a specified kind.
      ‘a speed indicator’
      ‘an altitude indicator’
      • ‘Note that this board doesn't have a standby power indicator LED on it.’
      • ‘My last recollection was noting 120 mp/h on the air speed indicator, then I ploughed into trees.’
      • ‘Surely something as simple as an electronic speed indicator, coupled with a 30 mph zone sign, would have effectively targeted the worst offenders.’
      • ‘The boat also managed to use its emergency position indicator radio beacon.’
      • ‘Warning indicators and gauges told her she'd lost all hydraulics.’
      • ‘The ship's speed indicator jumped forward, as did the ship, leaving the dimmer-witted fighters behind.’
      • ‘He let two minutes go by, using the time indicator display in the view-finder.’
      • ‘During the mounting operation, a sensor reads injection information from an indicator device on the syringe and feeds it to an injector control.’
      • ‘Alex watched the screen, with speed and distance indicators relative to the Vision's position displayed at the bottom edge.’
      • ‘Other flight data, including landing gear position indicators and drag information, indicate that it is unlikely the left landing gear was deployed early.’
      • ‘If you prefer, you can switch to an artificial horizontal situation indicator screen, or split the screen and have both.’
      • ‘I welcome the introduction of the smiley face speed indicators.’
      • ‘An auxiliary contact may be added to a circuit breaker that can communicate an alarm condition to an LED indicator or process software.’
      • ‘By far the main thing I liked was the fan speed indicator and fan speed control.’
      • ‘Pier head deflections were measured using digital dial indicators attached to a reference beam and connected to the data acquisition system.’
      • ‘Another idea is to install a traffic speed indicator which flashes when a vehicle is travelling too fast.’
      meter, measuring instrument, measuring device, measure, gauge, dial, display, scale, index
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2British A board or screen in a railway station, airport, etc. giving current information.
      [as modifier] ‘the indicator board’
      • ‘After a wait, then squeezing onto a crowded train I found myself at Liverpool Street, where the indicator board showed delayed or cancelled notices on every train.’
      • ‘The indicators which detail what stations the next train is stopping at still operate on a manual basis at Redfern station.’
      • ‘The indicator board next to the executive officer's chair lights up like a Christmas tree.’
      • ‘There was no train anywhere near - nothing even shown on the indicator boards - and yet everyone took it with good grace, and sat patiently.’
      • ‘Somebody was so busy looking at the train indicator in the station this morning that they walked into me and kicked my ankle.’
      • ‘Back at Liverpool Street, the indicator board appeared not to be showing any platform numbers, but I found the right platform just seconds before the 18.32 pulled out.’
      • ‘The Chelmsford indicator boards were fixed by this evening, but for the last two days we've had no indicators and no announcements.’
      • ‘Stations are being closed for renovation: indicator boards tell when the next train is due: on one line little flashing lights on a map show where the train now is.’
  • 3British A flashing light or (formerly) other device on a vehicle to show that it is about to change lanes or turn.

    [as modifier] ‘an indicator light’
    • ‘Mirrors, indicator lights, the number-plate and tax disk are easy to remove and replace.’
    • ‘The vehicle must also be registered with the DVLA and have lights, brakes and indicators.’
    • ‘Clumsy indicator / fog lights upset the purposeful, shark-like nose and bling-bling chrome filler cap allied with red brake callipers also look out of place.’
    • ‘The front light, indicators and windshield were also broken.’
    • ‘And, as with some Asian cars, the indicator and windscreen wipers are reversed, which can cause no end of confusion at first,’
    • ‘Most obvious changes are the new rear light assemblies - with brake, reversing and indicator lights arranged neatly within a pair of larger tail-lamp units.’
    • ‘The bike had no horn, indicators, no lights, no rear brakes, and hardly any front brakes.’
    • ‘Vehicle Inspectorate mechanics checked each vehicle's lights, indicators, brakes, wheel nuts, steering, tyre pressure and general standard of maintenance.’
    • ‘Flashing direction indicators for motor vehicles, which will be legal in this country from Friday, were pioneered in Bradford, where they were fitted to some trolley-buses over a year ago.’
    • ‘However, sharp eyes will see the revised front bumper where fog lights replace the indicators, which are now housed in the main headlight fairing.’
    • ‘Conventional car lighting has a number of elements - headlamps, indicators, brake lights - in set positions.’
    • ‘Teach your child how to spot what drivers are likely to do next, for example, the use of indicators and road signs.’
    • ‘This cluster would also feature normal orange indicators and white reversing lights but which cannot be seen within the red tail light cluster when not in operation.’
    • ‘The entire light cluster can be a rear light, a brake light or an indicator, and automatically adjusts in intensity and brightness to suit prevailing conditions.’
    • ‘In the end, the driver crawled along until he could get into a lay-by using only his indicator light for illumination, and used his own mobile to call the police.’
    • ‘CCTV footage showed the bus was stopped at a traffic stop with its indicator lights flashing.’
    • ‘Wander round to the back and the rear light clusters are designed to resemble the iris of an eye, with the sidelights, brake lights and indicators arranged in concentric circles.’
    • ‘Riders must also wear a helmet, and the scooter will need road tax, insurance, number plates, break lights, indicators and an MOT certificate.’
    • ‘The car window was smashed, and the indicator lights were flashing.’
    • ‘Everything is where you want it to be, except the windscreen wipers, and indicators are on the opposite sides from where they usually are.’
  • 4Chemistry
    A compound which changes colour at a specific pH value or in the presence of a particular substance, and can be used to monitor acidity, alkalinity, or the progress of a reaction.

    ‘the remaining alkali is titrated against standard acid using phenolphthalein as indicator’
    • ‘Various brews can give you color indicators for the presence of double bonds, methyl ketones, aldehydes and the like.’
    • ‘Our fish tank kit came with a chemical indicator, bromothymol blue (BromoBlue).’
    • ‘Trace elements and oxygen isotopes are useful geochemical indicators of the chemistry of the waters from which the chert precipitated.’
    • ‘The color change in acid-base indicators is due to a chemical reaction between the indicator and the hydronium ions in the solution.’
    • ‘This absence of correlation should warn against using CO temperature coefficients of chemical shifts as indicators of a hydrogen bond acceptor.’
  • 5An animal or plant species which can be used to infer conditions in a particular habitat.

    ‘the raccoon is a poor choice as an indicator of riparian habitat’
    • ‘Now it and various other indicator species are probably doomed.’
    • ‘Repeat the watering when the indicator plants again wilt.’
    • ‘Are they an indicator species, a harbinger of global environmental crashes ahead?’
    • ‘Decline of river fish is yet another indicator that natural habitats such as wetlands and rivers and the life they sustain are under intense pressure.’
    • ‘‘The pygmy hog is an important indicator species, and we need to know why it is disappearing faster than other less sensitive species,’ he said.’
    • ‘The plant associates are common widespread wetland species in the southeastern United States, and none were determined to be indicator species.’
    • ‘The minnow is an indicator species that suggests the overall health, or sickness, of the entire river ecosystem.’
    • ‘For this reason, Black-legged Kittiwakes have been proposed as a good indicator species of marine health.’
    • ‘We suggest that this tree species should be considered an indicator species with unexplored economic potential.’
    • ‘It's a so-called indicator species that lives in the river.’
    • ‘So they are terribly important as kind of indicator species of our environment.’
    • ‘Research indicated the owl is an indicator species whose decline indicates the imperilment of the old-growth forest ecosystem.’
    • ‘‘They are important indicator species,’ he says.’
    • ‘The indicator species can either be observed directly on the ground by exploration geochemists or detected indirectly in aerial photographs or satellite images.’
    • ‘This also involved the villagers taking on the responsibility of monitoring the key indicator species to understand how the regeneration process was taking place.’
    • ‘Marine predators are in general decline worldwide and this is what makes seals such a key indicator species.’
    • ‘They're what botanists would call an indicator species.’
    • ‘We also look at them as indicator species more and more.’
    • ‘The calanoid copepod Lucicutia grandis is an indicator species for this habitat.’
    • ‘Relatively high levels of pesticides have been found in some western populations, and Tree Swallows are often used as indicator species for pollutants.’