[pol-i-graf, -grahf]
an instrument for receiving and recording simultaneously tracings of variations in certain body activities.
a test using such an instrument to determine if a person is telling the truth.
an apparatus for producing copies of a drawing or writing.
a prolific or versatile author.
verb (used with object)
to test (a person) with a polygraph.

1795–1805 for def 1; 1920–25 for def 3; < Greek polýgraphos writing much. See poly-, -graph

polygraphic [pol-i-graf-ik] , adjective
polygraphist [puh-lig-ruh-fist] , polygrapher, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
polygraph (ˈpɒlɪˌɡrɑːf, -ˌɡræf)
1.  an instrument for the simultaneous electrical or mechanical recording of several involuntary physiological activities, including blood pressure, skin resistivity, pulse rate, respiration, and sweating, used esp as a would-be lie detector
2.  a device for producing copies of written, printed, or drawn matter
[C18: from Greek polugraphos writing copiously]

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

1794, "mechanical device for making multiple copies of something written or drawn," from Gk. polygraphos "writing much," from polys "much" (see poly-) + graphos "writing," from graphein "to write." Meaning "instrument for recording several pulsations of the body at the same
time" is 1871; first used as a lie detector 1921.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

polygraph pol·y·graph (pŏl'ē-grāf')
An instrument that simultaneously records changes in physiological processes such as heartbeat, blood pressure, and respiration.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
He revealed that half the officers in a key unit failed a polygraph test last year.
The courts have long ruled polygraph findings inadmissible as evidence.
He displayed strikingly little emotion about his family during questioning, but
  did agree to take a polygraph.
If you're not willing to cooperate with a polygraph, there's really nothing
  they can do.
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