- Usually calipers. an instrument for measuring thicknesses and internal or external diameters inaccessible to a scale, consisting usually of a pair of adjustable pivoted legs.
- any of various calibrated instruments for measuring thicknesses or distances between surfaces, usually having a screwed or sliding adjustable piece.Compare vernier caliper.
- thickness or depth, as of paper or a tree.
- Usually calipers. the pincers of an earwig.
- Automotive. the part of a disc-brake assembly that straddles the disc and presses the brake pads against it.
- a similar part used with a hand brake on a bicycle.
verb (used with object)
- to measure with calipers.
verb (used without object)
- to use calipers.
- the usual US spelling of calliper
1620s, short for calliper compass (1580s), a device used to measure caliber (q.v.). Related: Calipers.
- An instrument consisting essentially of two curved hinged legs, used to measure thickness and distances.
- An instrument consisting of two curved legs connected at a hinge, used to measure thickness and distance. Often used in the plural as calipers.