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[thur-muh-stat] /ˈθɜr məˌstæt/
a device, including a relay actuated by thermal conduction or convection, that functions to establish and maintain a desired temperature automatically or signals a change in temperature for manual adjustment.
verb (used with object), thermostatted or thermostated; thermostatting or thermostating.
to equip or control with a thermostat.
Origin of thermostat
1825-35; thermo- + -stat
Related forms
thermostatic, adjective
thermostatically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for thermostat
  • First, if your furnace stops or will not start, check the thermostat.
  • Because our bedroom is on the second floor of our condo, it's usually warmer than the thermostat downstairs.
  • Make sure during these two weeks that the thermostat is not set too high.
  • The hypothalamus, which sits at the base of the brain, acts as the body's thermostat.
  • He puts three or four layers of blankets on it every night and monitors it with a remote thermostat.
  • The improvised thermostat generated so much curiosity that talks of developing and selling a kit soon followed.
  • They make the mistake of setting back the thermostat during sleeping hours to cut fuel bills.
  • Ten minutes later the room is still too cold, so you turn up the thermostat again and go to sleep.
  • The thermostat is a small dial behind the water-heater access panel and insulation.
  • Our current apartment is the first one we've had that had a programmable thermostat.
British Dictionary definitions for thermostat


a device that maintains a system at a constant temperature. It often consists of a bimetallic strip that bends as it expands and contracts with temperature, thus breaking and making contact with an electrical power supply
a similar device that actuates equipment, such as a sprinkler, when a certain temperature is reached
Derived Forms
thermostatic, adjective
thermostatically, adverb
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 thermostat

1831, from thermo- + -stat.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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thermostat in Science
A device that automatically controls heating or cooling equipment in such a way as to maintain a temperature at a constant level or within a specified range, generally using a thermometer capable of triggering electrical switches that activate or deactivate the equipment.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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thermostat in Culture

thermostat definition

A device that monitors and automatically responds to changes in temperature and activates switches controlling devices such as furnaces or air conditioners.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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