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2 definitions found
 for theodolite
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Theodolite \The*od"o*lite\, n. [Probably a corruption of the
     alidade. See Alidade.]
     An instrument used, especially in trigonometrical surveying,
     for the accurate measurement of horizontal angles, and also
     usually of vertical angles. It is variously constructed.
     [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: The theodolite consists principally of a telescope,
           with cross wires in the focus of its object glass,
           clamped in Y's attached to a frame that is mounted so
           as to turn both on vertical and horizontal axes, the
           former carrying a vernier plate on a horizontal
           graduated plate or circle for azimuthal angles, and the
           latter a vertical graduated arc or semicircle for
           altitudes. The whole is furnished with levels and
           adjusting screws and mounted on a tripod.
           [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  theodolite
      n 1: a surveying instrument for measuring horizontal and
           vertical angles, consisting of a small telescope mounted on
           a tripod [syn: theodolite, transit]

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