One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of various instruments for measuring the concentration of alcohol; especially (a) a hydrometer calibrated to show the proportion of alcohol in an alcoholic drink; (b) = alcometer.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry and the Arts. From alcohol + -ometer, originally after German Alkoholometer (J. B. Richter, 1795).
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