• Barometers
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n barometer an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure
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Additional illustrations & photos:

Aneroid Barometer Aneroid Barometer

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Barometer An instrument for determining the weight or pressure of the atmosphere, and hence for judging of the probable changes of weather, or for ascertaining the height of any ascent.☞ The barometer was invented by Torricelli at Florence about 1643. It is made in its simplest form by filling a graduated glass tube about 34 inches long with mercury and inverting it in a cup containing mercury. The column of mercury in the tube descends until balanced by the weight of the atmosphere, and its rise or fall under varying conditions is a measure of the change in the atmospheric pressure. At the sea level its ordinary height is about 30 inches (760 millimeters). See Sympiesometer.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n barometer An instrument for measuring the weight or pressure of the atmosphere, invented by Evangelista Torricelli, an Italian mathematician and physicist, in 1643. The simplest form of this instrument is a glass tube over 30 inches long, sealed at one end, and then filled with mercury. When the tube is inverted, with the open end dipping into a cup or cistern of mercury, the column sinks, leaving a vacuum at the top, till the pressure of the atmosphere on each unit of surface of the mercury in the cistern equals the weight of the column in the tube over each unit of surface of the horizontal section at the level of the mercury outside, when the pressure of the column of mercury just balances that of the atmosphere. The rise and fall can be measured on a graduated scale. Barometers of this form are called cistern barometers. They are the commonest of rough mercurial barometers. For scientific purposes, the most frequently used is Fortin's barometer, in which the cistern is adjustable, the zero of the scale coinciding with the extremity of an ivory pointer (a in second figure) which projects downward from the top of the cistern-box. The bottom of the cistern is made of leather, and by a screw working against a wooden button the mercury can be raised or lowered until its surface just touches the point of the index; this operation must be performed before each observation. The siphon barometer consists of a bent tube, generally of uniform bore, having two unequal legs. The longer leg, which must be more than 30 inches long, is closed, while the shorter leg is open; the difference of the levels in the two legs represents the pressure of the atmosphere. The wheel barometer usually consists of a siphon barometer having a float resting on the surface of the mercury in the open branch, and a thread attached to the float passing over a pulley, and having a weight at its extremity as a counterpoise to the float. As the mercury rises and falls the thread turns the pulley which moves the index of the dial. The barometer is used in many physical and chemical determinations, but its most ordinary applications are to the prediction of changes in the weather, and to the determination of the elevation of stations above the sea-level.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Barometer bar-om′et-ėr an instrument by which the weight or pressure of the atmosphere is measured, and changes of weather, or heights above sea-level, indicated
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  • David Hare
    “Sudden resolutions, like the sudden rise of mercury in a barometer, indicate little else than the variability of the weather.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gr. ba`ros weight + -meter,: cf. F. baromètre,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. baros, weight, metron, measure.


In literature:

Harriet referred to the barometer.
"The Meadow-Brook Girls by the Sea" by Janet Aldridge
In periods of stress these imperative signals register the rise and fall of anxiety's barometer.
"Destiny" by Charles Neville Buck
Do their barometers tell us when to take an umbrella, or when to leave it at home?
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete" by Various
He pointed to the barometer.
"Atlantis" by Gerhart Hauptmann
The principle of some such appliance as the thermometer, the barometer, the microscope, the air-brake, the block signal.
"Public Speaking" by Clarence Stratton
Every human barometer among them warned him to wait a day or so.
"St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, September 1878, No. 11" by Various
The cannonade was an infallible barometer.
"Frederic Shoberl Narrative of the Most Remarkable Events Which Occurred In and Near Leipzig" by Frederic Shoberl (1775-1853)
He wakened somewhat earlier than usual to find that the thermometer had gone up, and the barometer down.
"David Harum" by Edward Noyes Westcott
The sky was clear and the barometer high.
"The Nigger Of The "Narcissus" A Tale Of The Forecastle" by Joseph Conrad
The barometer was falling again and there was every promise of more bad weather.
"Navy Boys Behind the Big Guns" by Halsey Davidson

In poetry:

Yet the barometer goes down;
The pressure's falling through the floor,
And in your fear of God knows what,
Too late to cling on to the shore!
""The sense that love is coming's worse..."" by Konstantin Simonov

In news:

The School Lunch Barometer .
CS Barometer provides deeper and more accurate insight into consumer behavior.
ClearSaleing Launches Barometer for Digital Marketers.
Retailers worldwide experience a six percent increase in shrink in 2011, according the Global Retail Theft Barometer .
Twitter Trending Topics have quickly become an important barometer for showrunners and networks to gauge how a storyline or character is connecting with the audience.
RotoWire NASCAR Barometer Bristol .
One Brit barometer can be experienced on a regular basis at the Laugh Factory comedy club on L.A.'s Sunset Boulevard.
This story was written by Carly Dougher, OSU Daily Barometer The Corvallis Democratic headquarters were overflowing on Saturday morning with anxious volunteers ready to pass on the word to vote in this presidential election.
Black Forest Carved Barometer, ca 1880 PBS.
As a cold front approaches (and the barometer begins to drop), fishing is typically pretty good.
However, the day after a cold front passes (if the barometer rises rapidly) fishing can be challenging.
A Barometer of American Taste.
The October Bedding Barometer report, issued by the International Sleep Products Assn.
Emotional Brandon Carr shows why he is the 'barometer of this team'.
The Princeton city budget is a barometer of events going on and evidence of that is in the third quarter budget update this year.

In science:

For this reason, molecular clouds can be used as ”CR barometers” to probe variations of the CR spectrum and flux throughout the Galaxy , .
Gamma Ray Astronomy and the Origin of Galactic Cosmic Rays
The data has the schema (samplingtime, temperature, humidity, solar radiation, rain rate, wind speed, wind direction, barometer ) and is generated every thirty seconds by a weather station.
Cloud and the City: Facilitating Flexible Access Control over Data Streams
For example, according to this definition, the barometer falling is an explanation of it raining with high explanatory power.
Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach. Part II: Explanations
Because of this difference, for us, the falling barometer has 0 explanatory power as far as explaining the rain.
Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach. Part II: Explanations
Even though the barometer falls in almost all contexts where it rains (assume that there are contexts where it rains and the barometer does not fall, perhaps because it is defective, so that the barometer falling at least satisfies EX4), the barometer falling is not a cause of the rain in any context.
Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach. Part II: Explanations