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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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British Dictionary definitions for theodolitic

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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theodolitic 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 theodolitic

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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