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slide rule

a device for performing mathematical calculations, consisting essentially of a ruler having a sliding piece moving along it, both marked with graduated, usually logarithmic, scales: now largely replaced by the electronic calculator.
Origin of slide rule
1655-65 for earlier sense; 1875-80 for current sense Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for slide rule
  • After presiding over years of technological innovations, the inventor himself still prefers the simplicity of a slide rule.
  • Yet another familiar school-days object may be going the way of the inkwell and the slide rule.
  • Eventually, old fashioned books will go the way of the buggy whip and the slide rule.
  • The engineer is often not allowed sufficient time to perform long hydraulics formulas and exacting slide rule calculations.
  • Determine the relative humidity by reading the chart or slide rule provided with the psychrometer.
  • Most civil service written tests do not require the use of a calculator or slide rule.
  • Fortunately, wisdom has not gone the way of your slide rule.
  • Computations were performed by slide rule and, when luxury afforded it, a desk calculator.
British Dictionary definitions for slide rule

slide rule

noun (obsolete)
a mechanical calculating device consisting of two strips, one sliding along a central groove in the other, each strip graduated in two or more logarithmic scales of numbers, trigonometric functions, etc. It employs the same principles as logarithm tables
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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