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tuning fork

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 of tuning fork
1765-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tuning-fork
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Pitch the day aright with this tuning-fork, and hush the babel-voices of the world to its tones of peace at night.

  • As for Jacob, he has nothing but his tuning-fork and a seat with the rest.

    The Dew of Their Youth S. R. Crockett
  • A piece of such wax can be moulded into a tuning-fork or a bell, and will then, if struck, sound a musical note of definite pitch.

    Lord Kelvin Andrew Gray
  • These requirements are best met by a tuning-fork of not too low a pitch.

    Spiders Cecil Warburton
  • Illustrates how the vibrations of a tuning-fork are registered on a blackened (smoked) glass.

  • The twang of the tuning-fork was drowned by a succession of cries.

    Old Caravan Days Mary Hartwell Catherwood
  • In the system devised by Monsieur Lucien Bull a tuning-fork is used.

    Practical Cinematography and Its Applications Frederick Arthur Ambrose Talbot
  • Like his ancestor at Dunbar, he struck his tuning-fork on his sword.

    All Men are Ghosts L. P. Jacks
  • When the magnet is made to sound like a tuning-fork, the pitch will be reproduced in the telephone very loudly.

    The Machinery of the Universe Amos Emerson Dolbear
British Dictionary definitions for tuning-fork

tuning fork

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 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 tuning-fork

tuning fork


1799, from gerundive of tune (v.) + fork (n.). Invented 1711 by John Shore.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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