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[al-tim-i-ter, al-tuh-mee-ter] /ælˈtɪm ɪ tər, ˈæl təˌmi tər/
a sensitive aneroid barometer that is graduated and calibrated, used chiefly in aircraft for finding distance above sea level, terrain, or some other reference point by a comparison of air pressures.
any device used for the same purpose that operates by some other means, as by radio waves.
Origin of altimeter
1820-30; alti- + -meter Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for altimeter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The altimeter on the instrument board in front of Flight Lieutenant Wiggins said twenty thousand feet.

    Dave Dawson with the R.A.F R. Sidney Bowen
  • He corrected his course a little, glanced at the altimeter, and put his ship into a climb.

    Final Weapon Everett B. Cole
  • The altimeter needle moved with sickening speed and already registered but little more than five hundred feet.

    Creatures of Vibration Harl Vincent
  • Already it was very cold, though my altimeter only marked nine thousand.

    Danger! and Other Stories Arthur Conan Doyle
  • I come out at ten thousand feet over the Mohave Desert, my altimeter still reading ten thousand feet.

    Test Pilot David Goodger (
  • Dazed by the suddenness of the calamity, Carr turned to look at the altimeter.

    Creatures of Vibration Harl Vincent
  • His altimeter showed that he was gradually losing elevation.

  • When he checked the altimeter again, it registered just over 30,000 feet.

British Dictionary definitions for altimeter


/ælˈtɪmɪtə; ˈæltɪˌmiːtə/
an instrument that indicates height above sea level, esp one based on an aneroid barometer and fitted to an aircraft
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
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Word Origin and History for altimeter

1918, from Modern Latin altimeter, from alti- "high" (from Latin altus; see old) + -meter.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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altimeter in Science
An instrument that measures and indicates the height above sea level at which an object, such as an airplane, is located.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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