follow Dictionary.com

What is the X in X-mas?

vernier

[vur-nee-er] /ˈvɜr ni ər/
noun
1.
Also, vernier scale. a small, movable, graduated scale running parallel to the fixed graduated scale of a sextant, theodolite, barometer, etc., and used for measuring a fractional part of one of the divisions of the fixed scale.
2.
Machinery. an auxiliary device for giving a piece of apparatus a higher adjustment accuracy.
adjective
3.
equipped with a vernier:
a vernier barometer.
Origin
1760-1770
1760-70; named after P. Vernier

Vernier

[vur-nee-er; French ver-nyey] /ˈvɜr ni ər; French vɛrˈnyeɪ/
noun
1.
Pierre
[pyer] /pyɛr/ (Show IPA),
1580–1637, French mathematician and inventor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for vernier

vernier

/ˈvɜːnɪə/
noun
1.
a small movable scale running parallel to the main graduated scale in certain measuring instruments, such as theodolites, used to obtain a fractional reading of one of the divisions on the main scale
2.
an auxiliary device for making a fine adjustment to an instrument, usually by means of a fine screw thread
3.
(modifier) relating to or fitted with a vernier: a vernier scale, a vernier barometer
Word Origin
C18: named after Paul Vernier (1580–1637), French mathematician, who described the scale
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for vernier
n.

1766, device for making precise measurements, from name of inventor, French mathematician Paul Vernier (1580-1637), who described it in a tract published 1631.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
vernier in Science
Vernier
  (věr-nyā')   
French mathematician and maker of scientific instruments, known especially for his invention of an auxiliary scale (named after him) used for obtaining a highly precise reading of a subdivision of an ordinary scale.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for vernier

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for vernier

10
12
Scrabble Words With Friends