tuning fork

noun
a steel instrument consisting of a stem with two prongs, producing a musical tone of definite, constant pitch when struck, and serving as a standard for tuning musical instruments, making acoustical experiments, and the like.

Origin:
1765–75

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Collins
World English Dictionary
tuning fork
 
n
a two-pronged metal fork that when struck produces a pure note of constant specified pitch. It is used to tune musical instruments and in acoustics

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tuning fork
1799, from gerundive of tune (v.) + fork. Invented 1711 by John Shore.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

tuning fork

narrow, two-pronged steel bar that when tuned to a specific musical pitch retains its tuning almost indefinitely. It was apparently invented by George Frideric Handel's trumpeter John Shore shortly before Shore's death in 1752.

Learn more about tuning fork with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Forms of figurative sculpture became the epoch's artistic tuning fork.
People would concentrate for hours on the pitch of a tuning fork.
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