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vernier

[vur-nee-er] /ˈvɜr ni ər/
noun
1.
Also, vernier scale. a small, movable, graduated scale running parallel to the fixed graduated scale of a sextant, theodolite, barometer, etc., and used for measuring a fractional part of one of the divisions of the fixed scale.
2.
Machinery. an auxiliary device for giving a piece of apparatus a higher adjustment accuracy.
adjective
3.
equipped with a vernier:
a vernier barometer.
Origin
1760-1770
1760-70; named after P. Vernier
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for vernier scale

vernier

/ˈvɜːnɪə/
noun
1.
a small movable scale running parallel to the main graduated scale in certain measuring instruments, such as theodolites, used to obtain a fractional reading of one of the divisions on the main scale
2.
an auxiliary device for making a fine adjustment to an instrument, usually by means of a fine screw thread
3.
(modifier) relating to or fitted with a vernier: a vernier scale, a vernier barometer
Word Origin
C18: named after Paul Vernier (1580–1637), French mathematician, who described the scale
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 vernier scale

vernier

n.

1766, device for making precise measurements, from name of inventor, French mathematician Paul Vernier (1580-1637), who described it in a tract published 1631.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vernier scale in Science
Vernier
  (věr-nyā')   
French mathematician and maker of scientific instruments, known especially for his invention of an auxiliary scale (named after him) used for obtaining a highly precise reading of a subdivision of an ordinary scale.
vernier scale  
A small, movable auxiliary graduated scale attached parallel to a main graduated scale and calibrated to indicate fractional parts of the subdivisions of the larger scale. Vernier scales are used on certain precision instruments to increase accuracy in measurement.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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