Definition of calibrate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkaləˌbrāt/


[with object]
1Mark (a gauge or instrument) with a standard scale of readings.
Example sentences
  • The model was calibrated on the basis of the similar experimental results.
  • Statistical sampling methods are just like any other kind of scientific instrument in that they must be calibrated against known results.
  • The species in both genera are perennials, thus minimizing the effect of generation time on substitution rates, while all other slower rates were calibrated for trees or shrubs.
1.1Correlate the readings of (an instrument) with those of a standard in order to check the instrument’s accuracy.
Example sentences
  • Although this approach might be useful for establishing the errors on the correlation function after calibrating the instrument, it reveals little about the underlying mechanisms of noise.
  • So even though we can calibrate an instrument very accurately against an incandescent source, we don't know how well the instrument can subsequently measure the chromaticity of a particular artifact.
  • The Toro Co. unveiled the Toro Sprayer Calibration Tool, a computer-based tool to help check and calibrate sprayers as well as calculate product and water mixing rates.
1.2Adjust (experimental results) to take external factors into account or to allow comparison with other data.
Example sentences
  • Each and every time, we mentally calibrate the results.
  • It is impossible to calibrate influence but it seems likely the main impact of Mason and his cohorts was to talent spot young people in whom they saw potential.
  • It conveys no information other than how scared the government thinks you ought to be at this particular juncture, therefore allowing the government to calibrate the national mood with more precision than is usual.
adjust, measure, set, graduate, correct
1.3Carefully assess, set, or adjust (something abstract): the regulators cannot properly calibrate the risks involved (as adjective calibrated) their carefully calibrated economic policies
More example sentences
  • Instead, her defiance of emergency rule has been carefully calibrated.
  • Once in awhile, you'll also catch the cook sampling the wok's contents to calibrate your order.
  • The senior official said the proposals are calibrated to protect sovereignty.



Pronunciation: /-brātər/
Example sentences
  • Secondary calibrators are usually serum-based and the analyte concentrations less precisely determined by running many times against a former secondary calibrator or a primary calibrator.
  • The authors and other laboratorians hope that manufacturers use as primary calibrators solutions of SRM 916, or its equivalent, in human serum; secondary calibration should be traceable to primary calibrators.
  • Local on-site calibration was performed using frozen plasma calibrators to determine ISI values for each thromboplastin.


Mid 19th century: from caliber + -ate3.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cal·i·brate

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