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theodolite

[thee-od-l-ahyt] /θiˈɒd lˌaɪt/
noun
1.
Surveying. a precision instrument having a telescopic sight for establishing horizontal and sometimes vertical angles.
Compare transit (def 6).
Origin
1565-1575
1565-75; < Neo-Latin theodolitus < ?
Related forms
theodolitic
[thee-od-l-it-ik] /θiˌɒd lˈɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for theodolite
  • The methods available for tracking balloons in upper wind measurement can be divided into optical-theodolite and radio methods.
  • It is a relatively small, yet rugged theodolite that could take observations both during the day and at night.
  • There was good agreement between the theodolite-derived surface measurements and the holography-derived surface.
  • Care should be taken to achieve precise and accurate data when using theodolite equipment.
  • Dolphin movement patterns: information from radio and theodolite tracking studies pp.
  • Four or more theodolite heads would be optimum for cryostat positioning in the tunnel.
  • In the illustration, the figure on the left uses an ancestor of the theodolite to sight on a rod and measure angles.
  • We recorded the locations of all finds using a total-station laser theodolite.
British Dictionary definitions for theodolite

theodolite

/θɪˈɒdəˌlaɪt/
noun
1.
a surveying instrument for measuring horizontal and vertical angles, consisting of a small tripod-mounted telescope that is free to move in both the horizontal and vertical planes Also called (in the US and Canada) transit
Derived Forms
theodolitic (θɪˌɒdəˈlɪtɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from New Latin theodolitus, of uncertain origin
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 theodolite
n.

1570s, of unknown origin (see OED for discussion).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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theodolite in Science
theodolite
  (thē-ŏd'l-īt')   
An optical instrument used to measure angles in surveying, meteorology, and navigation. In meteorology, it is used to track the motion of a weather balloon by measuring its elevation and azimuth angle. The earliest theodolite consisted of a small mounted telescope that rotated horizontally and vertically; modern versions are sophisticated computerized devices, capable of tracking weather balloons, airplanes, and other moving objects, at distances of up to 20,000 m (65,600 ft).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for theodolite

basic surveying instrument of unknown origin but going back to the 16th-century English mathematician Leonard Digges; it is used to measure horizontal and vertical angles. In its modern form it consists of a telescope mounted to swivel both horizontally and vertically. Leveling is accomplished with the aid of a spirit level; crosshairs in the telescope permit accurate alignment with the object sighted. After the telescope is adjusted precisely, the two accompanying scales, vertical and horizontal, are read

Learn more about theodolite with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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14
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