vernier calipers

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Vernier \Ver"ni*er\, n. [So named after the inventor, Pierre
   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

   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 The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Calipers \Cal"i*pers\, n. pl. [Corrupted from caliber.]
   An instrument, usually resembling a pair of dividers or
   compasses with curved legs, for measuring the diameter or
   thickness of bodies, as of work shaped in a lathe or planer,
   timber, masts, shot, etc.; or the bore of firearms, tubes,
   etc.; -- called also caliper compasses, or {caliber
   [1913 Webster]

   Caliper square, a draughtsman's or mechanic's square,
      having a graduated bar and adjustable jaw or jaws.

   Vernier calipers. See Vernier.
      [1913 Webster]
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