Definition of chronometer in US English:



  • An instrument for measuring time, especially one designed to keep accurate time in spite of motion or variations in temperature, humidity, and air pressure. Chronometers were first developed for marine navigation, being used in conjunction with astronomical observation to determine longitude.

    • ‘The author's discussion of how chronometers were employed for comparison of longitudes between ports is not entirely accurate and he appears not to fully understand the principles employed.’
    • ‘Perhaps I'm more like a clockmaker opening the back casing to show students how all the cogs and wheels interact rather than assessing the chronometer's accuracy or appearance.’
    • ‘The English ruled the seas with their chronometers; now Americans rule the skies.’
    • ‘Preuss pocketed the chronometer and clutched his notebook.’
    • ‘Using a digital chronometer, the time taken for an achene to fall 2 m in a tightly closed room was measured.’
    • ‘The most accurate chronometers could yield a position that was accurate only to within a few miles, but good enough for James Cook to accurately map the East Coast of Australia and allow the First Fleet to find Port Jackson again.’
    • ‘The expedition carried a chronometer for measuring longitude, although winding it each day at noon was a challenge.’
    • ‘The museum currently has thirty-eight complete chronometers and twenty-three chronometer balances.’
    • ‘All the while, though, they knew exactly where they stood in history: they were men of science, from Victorian England; they had set their chronometers at Greenwich, that towering hill.’
    • ‘Cook's first expedition in 1767 was to observe the transit of the planet Venus, and it was during his voyages - with the development of an accurate chronometer - that the measurement of longitude became an exact science.’
    • ‘An expensive chronometer would help here, but one or more well-made hourglasses will also do just fine.’
    • ‘Mercator invented such a marine chronometer, a pendulum clock, and on the strength of this invention he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in November 1666.’
    • ‘The process of mapping itself, now much more accurate thanks to Britain's invention of the chronometer for measuring longitude, allowed the British to perceive the globe as an integrated whole.’
    • ‘And one might think initially they didn't do that because they didn't have the instruments, they didn't have the precise chronometers.’
    • ‘Reliable chronometers, first available on Cook's second voyage, allowed more reliable determination of longitude.’
    • ‘Here Maury's chronometrical sea science intimates the degree to which the chronometer had come, in the Victorian age, to embody nothing less than rationality itself.’
    • ‘The time of science is a mathematical conception, symbolized as a unit of measure by clocks and chronometers.’
    • ‘Cook kept the chronometers in locked wooden boxes and issued keys to the first lieutenant, the on-board astronomer, and himself.’
    • ‘Although many chronometers were invented during the 18th century, none was widely successful until Maelzel introduced his metronome in 1815.’
    • ‘Even chronometers, marine chronometers, the best of them, were good to maybe a 50th of a second or something of that order.’
    timepiece, small clock, timer
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