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

  Vernier \Ver"ni*er\, n. [So named after the inventor, Pierre
     Vernier.]
     A short scale made to slide along the divisions of a
     graduated instrument, as the limb of a sextant, or the scale
     of a barometer, for indicating parts of divisions. It is so
     graduated that a certain convenient number of its divisions
     are just equal to a certain number, either one less or one
     more, of the divisions of the instrument, so that parts of a
     division are determined by observing what line on the vernier
     coincides with a line on the instrument.
     [1913 Webster]
  
     Vernier calipers, Vernier gauge, a gauge with a graduated
        bar and a sliding jaw bearing a vernier, used for accurate
        measurements.
  
     Vernier compass, a surveyor's compass with a vernier for
        the accurate adjustment of the zero point in accordance
        with magnetic variation.
  
     Vernier transit, a surveyor's transit instrument with a
        vernier compass.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  Vernier
      n 1: French mathematician who described the vernier scale
           (1580-1637) [syn: Vernier, Paul Vernier]
      2: a small movable scale that slides along a main scale; the
         small scale is calibrated to indicate fractional divisions of
         the main scale [syn: vernier scale, vernier]

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