Meaning of caliper in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkalɪpə/

See synonyms for caliper on


(also calliper)
  • 1calipersAn instrument for measuring external or internal dimensions, having two hinged legs resembling a pair of compasses and in-turned or out-turned points.

    ‘At 2000 h every day, chicks were weighed on the precision balance, and their tarsus length measured by using a pair of calipers.’
    • ‘The fossil trackway was measured using calipers; measurements consisted of the total external width, internal width, and the width of both right and left tracks.’
    • ‘After measuring with a pair of calipers the total length of a feather to the nearest 0.01 mm, we determined average width of the 10 growth bars centered on the point two-thirds of the feather's length from the proximal end.’
    • ‘Tumor dimensions were also measured twice weekly using calipers.’
    • ‘The dimensions of all patches were measured with digital calipers.’
    • ‘Measurements of tooth base dimensions were made using digital calipers and/or a measuring eyepiece and dissecting microscope.’
    • ‘The total height of each plant was measured using a ruler and the diameter of the first internode was measured at its midpoint using calipers.’
    • ‘She extended the callipers like a pair of compasses preparing to plot the landmarks on his face.’
    • ‘Leaf, petiole, and internode lengths were measured with a ruler and petiole and internode diameters were measured with digital callipers.’
    • ‘There are instruments available, mostly modified dial calipers, that make measuring the groups easy.’
    • ‘The insertion instruments include calipers, curved hooks, dull hooks, 3-mm and 5-mm duckbill elevators, chisels, and implant inserters.’
    • ‘For example, wrists were measured using digital calipers, and as a result the mean discrepancy between repeated measures was modest, merely .037 inch.’
    • ‘On the railings of this balcony, scientists have used their great calipers to take the measure of the heavenly bodies.’
    • ‘For initial assessment and serial examination, the size of the mass may be measured using calipers or a tape measure.’
    • ‘Body-fat testing with calipers involves taking a measurement of fat in a number of areas on your body, which is then used to calculate your total body-fat percentage.’
    • ‘The tools of this trade are scattered throughout the exhibit - calipers for measuring head size, eye and hair color charts, and a device that looks fit for torture that was used to make subjects sit up straight for measurements.’
    • ‘Standard measurements were taken using calipers and a protractor with the median line of the valve mounted horizontally.’
    • ‘The scanner reads the barcode into the spreadsheet, and the calipers magically transmit your measurements there as well.’
    • ‘You can't make this sort of measurement with conventional calipers or even a micrometer.’
    1. 1.1A measuring instrument having one linear component sliding along another, with two parallel jaws and a vernier scale.
      ‘Vernier calipers, that measure to 0.2 cm, are available from precision engineering stores for $A500 and may be used.’
      • ‘Cook recommends taking baseline data with a tape measure instead of fat calipers or scales.’
      • ‘Livers were removed and the depth of necrosis was measured using Vernier calipers.’
      • ‘Forget scales and body-fat calipers; a 99-cent tape measure can tell you if your weight is in the safe zone.’
      • ‘They unrolled a blue mat on the forest floor and laid out an assortment of equipment, including a syringe with anesthesia, a ruler, calipers, a scale, a tape measure, a thermometer, and antibiotic ointment.’
      • ‘For each adult we measured body mass to the nearest 0.01 g using an electronic scale and measured the length of the metatarsus to the nearest 0.1 mm using slide calipers.’
      • ‘The thickness of the cover at the point of measurement was then obtained with Vernier calipers.’
      • ‘Attributes were measured using dial metric calipers and a portable digital scale and included length, haft width, weight, shoulder width, and maximum thickness.’
      • ‘Height, weight, ulna, forearm, tibia, and lower leg lengths were measured using a Harpenden stadiometer and calipers, and electronic scales.’
      • ‘The other measuring equipment, apart from the 20-metre tape, we have vernier callipers, feeler strips and telescopic measures.’
      • ‘Elaborate caliper rules were developed to measure cloth on the bolt, without unwinding it.’
    2. 1.2A motor-vehicle or bicycle brake consisting of two or more hinged components.
      ‘If you are a stickler for quiet brakes, you can also cut out shim washers for spacing the brake caliper brake mounts on the frame or fork.’
      • ‘The additional weight is attributed to the brake system, which will consist of an aluminum brake caliper, steel rotor and pad, as well as the limited slip differential in the gearbox.’
      • ‘The cause of the accident was a foreign body which got jammed between the brake caliper and the inside of a wheel rim and machined a groove into the rim which caused an immediate failure.’
      • ‘Check the wheel pant for movement and run your hand along the bottom of the brake caliper, looking for hydraulic fluid.’
      • ‘If you think of a disc brake setup, you know that the front brake caliper is above and behind the front dropout.’
      • ‘Despite having to replace most of the front-end body work, clutch, hydraulics, pedal parts, left front suspension, nose box, side pod and brake caliper, the team returned to the track in what looked like a brand new car.’
      • ‘Latterly a customer reported a car on fire in the car park, upon investigation it turned out to be a brake caliper seized to the disc but the car was no longer fit to drive and so consequently we had to arrange a rescue service.’
      • ‘I got down almost to Harrisburg, Pa., when a brake caliper seized.’
      • ‘He cut a right rear tire on lap 94, putting him 12 laps down because the brake caliper broke off the housing.’
      • ‘To cope with its extra power, the ST gets appreciably larger disc brakes plus special calipers on all four wheels.’
      • ‘The list included the driveshaft, rear gear, rear hub, axle, all four brake calipers, all four rotors, all four brake pads, the master cylinders, the brake lines, all four shocks and all four springs.’
      • ‘In addition, the plant produces corner modules, disc brake calipers, drum brakes and wheel cylinders.’
      • ‘Less obvious to the naked eye but just as important to the car's performance are the fitment of four piston front brake calipers and a brake servo system offering improved pedal feel.’
      • ‘This has in turn brought about an increase in wheel size, to get the larger disc brake and its calliper inside the wheel rim.’
      • ‘With this power increase comes improved braking performance from larger brake rotors, calipers, and pads.’
      • ‘Conventional hydraulic brakes work by using a cylinder, which squeezes brake calipers together around the wheel's rotor when the brake petal is depressed.’
      • ‘Relieving the pressure at the calipers released the front wheels.’
      • ‘I have read all the letters in your column regarding the brakes rubbing and the calipers not retracting.’
      • ‘We will also be introducing disc-brake calipers for mountain bikes and motorcycles.’
      • ‘‘The new alloy is ideal for high-temperature cast components used in engines such as pistons, connecting rods, actuators, brake calipers and rotors,’ said Lee.’
      • ‘Aluminum figures prominently in the front suspension design, and includes the lower arms, steering knuckles, brake calipers and brake shield, steering rack and front subframe.’
      • ‘In addition, it's possible that your tester's calipers hadn't been calibrated recently.’
      • ‘The calipers are worked with a machine tool starting from a block of cast aluminum.’
      • ‘In all brake applications, the front calipers utilize dual pistons and the rears use single pistons.’
      • ‘Applying that theory, the 360 has a ventilated disc at each corner, weight-saving dual-piston aluminum front calipers and electronically regulated front-to-rear distribution.’
      • ‘We also had agreement on standard brake discs, pads and calipers and agreement on reducing the weight limit.’
  • 2

    (also caliper splint)
    British A metal support for a person's leg.

    ‘The witness against the government of Iraq walked stiffly into the room, metal callipers buckled to heavy medical shoes.’
    • ‘Specialist equipment such as splints, callipers and braces can help with paralysis and contractures.’
    • ‘Neurological complications often reflect skeletal deformity, and the use of callipers, crutches, and wheel-chairs predispose to the development of peripheral nerve entrapment.’
    • ‘A breech birth left Vona with a paralysed right leg and bilaterally dislocated hips, but surgery by Sir Harry Platt (the first of its kind) when she was 4 enabled her to walk with a calliper.’
    • ‘She has no use of her right arm and can only walk short distances with the help of a caliper and walking stick.’
    • ‘The major programmes taken up are making aids and appliances such as callipers, walking aids, belts and braces, artificial limbs and splints.’
    • ‘Peter Mead, who has been landlord of the Cross Keys in Pulloxhill for 31 years, has spent the last four years gathering spare hands and legs as well as callipers, harnesses, walking sticks and frames.’
    • ‘They held cooking classes, had their own vegetable garden and a workshop where they made shoes (out of old tyres), callipers and artificial limbs.’
    • ‘His mum recently paid £2,400 for special callipers with the help of supporters across Britain and Ireland.’
    • ‘Knee height calipers are of limited use in patients with contractures, which includes many rehabilitation patients.’
    • ‘Thirty-year-old Rinpoche, a rather short Tibetan, crippled with a special caliper on his leg and a cumbersome walker to support him, and me, Diana Pybus, a tall, sixteen-year-old girl with long blond hair.’
    • ‘Perthes' disease affects one in a thousand people and treatment can include patients being fitted with orthopaedic aids, such as callipers.’
    • ‘She can now walk short distances with callipers, but spends most of her time in a wheelchair.’
    • ‘Dad has to wear a caliper on his leg because he had polio when he was young.’
    • ‘At the time I was only using callipers, but they asked me if I wanted to go to the Junior Wheelchair Games.’
    • ‘He has been able to stand up for only 58 seconds since the collision and his mother has just paid £2,400 for special callipers to be fitted next month.’
    • ‘He needs callipers on his legs and struggles to speak clearly, but that doesn't stop him being a chatty boy at school, where teachers nominated him for a national award.’
    • ‘He has already walked several times, using callipers and leaning on bars, and says that after a spasm he can sometimes twitch the muscle in his leg.’
    • ‘His father Harry encouraged him to walk across the living room wearing callipers by sitting across the room with pieces of banana.’
    • ‘When they returned, they could be wearing callipers, or walking with crutches, permanently disabled.’
    • ‘It left him crippled and scarcely able to walk, often relying on the help of callipers and sticks.’
    support, caliper, truss, surgical appliance


Late 16th century apparently an alteration of calibre.