a mechanical or electrical instrument that makes repeated clicking sounds at an adjustable pace, used for marking rhythm, especially in practicing music.

1810–20; metro-1 + -nome < Greek nómos rule, law

metronomic [me-truh-nom-ik] , metronomical, adjective
metronomically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
metronome (ˈmɛtrəˌnəʊm)
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
[C19: from Greek metron measure + nomos rule, law]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1816, coined in Eng. from comb. form of Gk. metron "measure" (see meter (2)) + -nomos "regulating," verbal adj. of nemein "to regulate" (see numismatics). The device invented 1815 by John Maelzel.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


instrument for marking musical tempo, erroneously ascribed to the German Johann Nepomuk Maelzel (1772-1838) but actually invented by a Dutch competitor, Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel (c. 1776-1826). It consists of a pendulum swung on a pivot and actuated by a hand-wound clockwork whose escapement (a motion-controlling device) makes a ticking sound as the wheel passes a pallet. Below the pivot there is a fixed weight; above it, a sliding weight. A scale of numbers indicates how many oscillations per minute occur when the sliding weight is moved to a given point on the pendulum. Thus, the notation "M.M. (Maelzel's metronome) = 60" indicates that at 60 oscillations per minute the half note will receive one beat. The conventional metronome is housed in a pyramidal case. Pocket and electric metronomes are also made. Metronomes have occasionally been used as musical instruments, e.g., by the Hungarian Gyorgy Ligeti (Poeme symphonique, 1962, for 100 metronomes).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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.
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