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seismograph

[sahyz-muh-graf, -grahf, sahys-] /ˈsaɪz məˌgræf, -ˌgrɑf, ˈsaɪs-/
noun
1.
any of various instruments for measuring and recording the vibrations of earthquakes.
Origin
1855-1860
1855-60; seismo- + -graph
Related forms
seismographic
[sahyz-muh-graf-ik, sahys-] /ˌsaɪz məˈgræf ɪk, ˌsaɪs-/ (Show IPA),
seismographical, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for seismographs

seismograph

/ˈsaɪzməˌɡrɑːf; -ˌɡræf/
noun
1.
an instrument that registers and records the features of earthquakes. A seismogram (ˈsaɪzməˌɡræm) is the record from such an instrument Also called seismometer
Derived Forms
seismographic (ˌsaɪzməˈɡræfɪk) adjective
seismographer (saɪzˈmɒɡrəfə) noun
seismography, noun
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 seismographs

seismograph

n.

"instrument for measuring the motions of an earthquake," 1858, from seismo- + -graph. Based on Italian sismografo, coined and invented by Luigi Palmieri (1807-1896), director of meteorological observation on Mount Vesuvius. Related: Seismographic; seismography (1865).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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seismographs in Science
seismograph
  (sīz'mə-grāf')   
An instrument that detects and records vibrations and movements in the Earth, especially during an earthquake. Most seismographs employ a pendulum mounted within a rigid framework and connected to a mechanical, optical, or electromagnetic recording device. When the Earth vibrates or shakes, inertia keeps the pendulum steady with respect to the movements of the frame, producing a graphic record of the duration and intensity of the Earth's movements. Separate instruments are needed to record the north-south horizontal, east-west horizontal, and vertical components of a tremor. By comparing the records produced by seismographs located in three or more locations across the Earth, the location and strength of an earthquake can be determined.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for seismographs

seismograph

instrument that makes a record of seismic waves caused by an earthquake, explosion, or other Earth-shaking phenomenon. Seismographs are equipped with electromagnetic sensors that translate ground motions into electrical changes, which are processed and recorded by the instruments' analog or digital circuits. A record produced by a seismograph on a display screen or paper printout is called a seismogram. Although originally designed to locate natural earthquakes, seismographs have many other uses, such as petroleum exploration, investigation of the Earth's crust and lower layers, and monitoring of volcanic activity.

Learn more about seismograph with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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