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[me-truh-nohm] /ˈmɛ trəˌnoʊm/
a mechanical or electrical instrument that makes repeated clicking sounds at an adjustable pace, used for marking rhythm, especially in practicing music.
Origin of metronome
1810-20; metro-1 + -nome < Greek nómos rule, law
Related forms
[me-truh-nom-ik] /ˌmɛ trəˈnɒm ɪk/ (Show IPA),
metronomical, adjective
metronomically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for metronome
  • Then it is as if the offense were moving to the beat of a metronome.
  • Once you have that down, you can improve your speed and consistency by playing to a metronome.
  • The drummer, a skinny hipster with fuzzy sideburns, is as steady as a metronome.
  • They overthrow him and replace him with a giant metronome whose reign lasts only a few minutes before it is physically destroyed.
  • In the center, an ancient clock whose tick acts as the metronome for the sound of their high voices.
British Dictionary definitions for metronome


a mechanical device which indicates the exact tempo of a piece of music by producing a clicking sound from a pendulum with an adjustable period of swing
Derived Forms
metronomic (ˌmɛtrəˈnɒmɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Greek metron measure + nomos rule, law
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 metronome

mechanical musical time-keeper, 1815, coined in English from comb. form of Greek metron "measure" (see meter (n.2)) + -nomos "regulating," verbal adjective of nemein "to regulate" (see numismatics). The device invented 1815 by Johann Maelzel (1772-1838), German civil engineer and showman. Related: Metronomic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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