pierre vernier

World English Dictionary
vernier (ˈvɜːnɪə)
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
[C18: named after Paul Vernier (1580--1637), French mathematician, who described the scale]

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

1766, device for making precise measurements, from name of inventor, Fr. mathematician Paul Vernier (1580-1637), who described it in a tract published 1631.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
Vernier   (věr-nyā')  Pronunciation Key 
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.
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