Definitions for Polygraphˈpɒl ɪˌgræf, -ˌgrɑf

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word Polygraph

Princeton's WordNet

  1. polygraph(noun)

    a medical instrument that records several physiological processes simultaneously (e.g., pulse rate and blood pressure and respiration and perspiration)


  1. polygraph(Noun)

    A device which measures and records several physiological variables such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and skin conductivity while a series of questions is being asked to a subject, in an attempt to detect lies.

  2. polygraph(Noun)

    An mechanical instrument for multiplying copies of a writing, resembling multiple pantographs.

  3. polygraph(Noun)

    A collection of different works, either by one or several authors.

  4. polygraph(Verb)

    To administer a polygraph test.

    The FBI polygraphed the suspect but learned nothing because they already knew he was lying.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Polygraph(noun)

    an instrument for multiplying copies of a writing; a manifold writer; a copying machine

  2. Polygraph(noun)

    in bibliography, a collection of different works, either by one or several authors

  3. Polygraph(noun)

    an instrument for detecting deceptive statements by a subject, by measuring several physiological states of the subject, such as pulse, heartbeat, and sweating. The instrument records these parameters on a strip of paper while the subject is asked questions designed to elicit emotional responses when the subject tries to deceive the interrogator. Also called lie detector

  4. Origin: [Gr. writing much; poly`s much, many + to write: cf. F. polygraphe.]


  1. Polygraph

    A polygraph measures and records several physiological indices such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and skin conductivity while the subject is asked and answers a series of questions. The belief underpinning the use of the polygraph is that deceptive answers will produce physiological responses that can be differentiated from those associated with non-deceptive answers. The polygraph was invented in 1921 by John Augustus Larson, a medical student at the University of California at Berkeley and a police officer of the Berkeley Police Department in Berkeley, California. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, the polygraph was on its 2003 list of greatest inventions, described by the company as inventions that "have had profound effects on human life for better or worse." The efficacy of polygraphs is debated in the scientific community. In 2001, a significant fraction of the scientific community considered polygraphy to be pseudoscience. In 2002, a review by the National Academies of Science found that testing can discriminate lying from truth telling at rates above chance, though below perfection. These results apply only to specific events and not to screening where it is assumed that polygraph would work less well. Effectiveness may also be worsened by counter measures.

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