water clock


water clock
a device, as a clepsydra, for measuring time by the flow of water.
[1595-1605]

* * *

Ancient device for measuring time by the gradual flow of water.

One form, used by North American Indians and some African peoples, consisted of a small boat or floating vessel that shipped water through a hole until it sank. In another form, water escaped through a hole in a vessel marked with graduated lines; specimens from Egypt date from the 14th century BC. The Romans invented a clepsydra consisting of a cylinder into which water dripped from a reservoir; a float provided readings against a scale on the cylinder wall. Galileo used a mercury clepsydra to time his experimental falling bodies. See also clock.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Water clock — Wa ter clock An instrument or machine serving to measure time by the fall, or flow, of a certain quantity of water; a clepsydra. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • water clock — n. a device for measuring time by the fall or flow of water; clepsydra …   English World dictionary

  • Water clock — For the individual water clock at The Children s Museum of Indianapolis, see Water clock (Indianapolis). A display of two outflow water clocks from the Ancient Agora Museum in Athens. The top is an original from the late 5th century BC. The… …   Wikipedia

  • water clock — noun clock that measures time by the escape of water • Syn: ↑clepsydra, ↑water glass • Hypernyms: ↑clock * * * ˈwater clock 7 [water clock] n …   Useful english dictionary

  • water clock — noun historical a clock that used the flow of water to measure time …   English new terms dictionary

  • water clock — wa′ter clock n. hor a device, as a clepsydra, for measuring time by the flow of water • Etymology: 1595–1605 …   From formal English to slang

  • water clock — noun Date: 1601 an instrument designed to measure time by the fall or flow of a quantity of water called also clepsydra …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • water clock — noun a) A device for measuring time by letting water flow out of a container, usually through a tiny aperture. b) A clepsydra …   Wiktionary

  • water clock — /ˈwɔtə klɒk/ (say wawtuh klok) noun a device, as a clepsydra, for measuring time by the flow of water …   Australian English dictionary

  • water clock — device used for setting a specific period of time …   English contemporary dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.