What does indicator mean?

Definitions for indicator
ˈɪn dɪˌkeɪ tərin·di·ca·tor

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word indicator.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. index, index number, indicant, indicatornoun

    a number or ratio (a value on a scale of measurement) derived from a series of observed facts; can reveal relative changes as a function of time

  2. indicatornoun

    a signal for attracting attention

  3. indicatornoun

    a device for showing the operating condition of some system

  4. indicatornoun

    (chemistry) a substance that changes color to indicate the presence of some ion or substance; can be used to indicate the completion of a chemical reaction or (in medicine) to test for a particular reaction


  1. indicatornoun

    A pointer or index that indicates something.

  2. indicatornoun

    A meter or gauge.

  3. indicatornoun

    The needle or dial on such a meter.

  4. indicatornoun

    Any of many substances, such as litmus, used to indicate the concentration of a substance, or the degree of a reaction.

  5. indicatornoun

    A plant or animal whose presence is indicative of some specific environment.

  6. indicatornoun

    A measure, such as unemployment rate, which can be used to predict economic trends.

  7. indicatornoun

    A trafficator.

  8. Etymology: From indicator, from indico; see indicate.


  1. indicator

    An indicator is a measurement or value that serves as a gauge or sign of something. It provides evidence or shows the direction or level of something. It can refer to a device or instrument in various fields such as science, economics, and statistics to depict a certain condition or situation. It can also represent a variable used in assessment, performance, or analysis in a particular concept, system, process, or method.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Indicatornoun

    one who, or that which, shows or points out; as, a fare indicator in a street car

  2. Indicatornoun

    a pressure gauge; a water gauge, as for a steam boiler; an apparatus or instrument for showing the working of a machine or moving part

  3. Indicatornoun

    an instrument which draws a diagram showing the varying pressure in the cylinder of an engine or pump at every point of the stroke. It consists of a small cylinder communicating with the engine cylinder and fitted with a piston which the varying pressure drives upward more or less against the resistance of a spring. A lever imparts motion to a pencil which traces the diagram on a card wrapped around a vertical drum which is turned back and forth by a string connected with the piston rod of the engine. See Indicator card (below)

  4. Indicatornoun

    a telltale connected with a hoisting machine, to show, at the surface, the position of the cage in the shaft of a mine, etc

  5. Indicatornoun

    the part of an instrument by which an effect is indicated, as an index or pointer

  6. Indicatornoun

    any bird of the genus Indicator and allied genera. See Honey guide, under Honey

  7. Indicatornoun

    that which indicates the condition of acidity, alkalinity, or the deficiency, excess, or sufficiency of a standard reagent, by causing an appearance, disappearance, or change of color, as in titration or volumetric analysis

  8. Etymology: [L.: cf. F. indicateur.]


  1. Indicator

    In various contexts of science, technology, and manufacturing, an indicator is any of various instruments used to accurately measure small distances and angles, and amplify them to make them more obvious. The name comes from the concept of indicating to the user that which their naked eye cannot discern; such as the presence, or exact quantity, of some small distance. Many indicators have a dial display, in which a needle points to graduations in a circular array around the dial. Such indicators, of which there are several types, therefore are often called dial indicators. Non-dial types of indicators include mechanical devices with cantilevered pointers and electronic devices with digital displays. Indicators may be used to check the variation in tolerance during the inspection process of a machined part, measure the deflection of a beam or ring under laboratory conditions, as well as many other situations where a small measurement needs to be registered or indicated. Dial indicators typically measure ranges from 0.25mm to 300mm, with graduations of 0.001mm to 0.01mm or 0.00005in to 0.001in.

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Indicator

    (a) An apparatus for indicating the condition of a distant element, such as the water level in a reservoir, the temperature of a drying room or cold storage room or any other datum. They are of the most varied constructions. (b) The receiving instrument in a telegraph system is sometimes thus termed.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. indicator

    In intelligence usage, an item of information which reflects the intention or capability of an adversary to adopt or reject a course of action.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. indicator

    An invention of Gen. Wingate, of the New York Militia, for instructing men in aiming the musket. A steel rod passing through a brass tompon in the muzzle is projected forwards by the firing-pin. The rod carries a sharp point in the line of the sights, which punctures a miniature target a foot or so in front of the muzzle.

Editors Contribution

  1. indicator

    A type of device created and designed in various colors, materials, mechanisms, shapes, sizes and technology to indicate.

    The vehicle indicator did give an accurate signal so the other drives could see the intention.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 9, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'indicator' in Nouns Frequency: #1880

How to pronounce indicator?

How to say indicator in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of indicator in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of indicator in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of indicator in a Sentence

  1. Robert Speel:

    Political activists are certainly looking at this race as an indicator of Pennsylvania and national trends.

  2. Rhonda Randall:

    That's a key indicator of somebody's socioeconomic status and a good predictor of how their overall health is going to be for the rest of their life. That childhood poverty measure decreased 6 % since the prior year.

  3. Clare Levison:

    If someone needs to move back home and they’re not just using it as an easy way out -- because their parents will pay for everything, cook, clean and do laundry -- it’s a sign that your child is in financial trouble, if they’re not able to live on their own, it’s an indicator that there are some financial issues.

  4. Stephen Farnsworth:

    Every gubernatorial election in Virginia is seen as a leading political indicator. How the parties do in Virginia's governor's race, the year after a presidential election, is seen as a harbinger of how the parties will do in the midterm elections.

  5. Sheldon Cohen:

    This suggests that being hugged by a trusted person may act as an effective means of conveying support and that increasing the frequency of hugs might be an effective means of reducing the deleterious effects of stress, the apparent protective effect of hugs may be attributable to the physical contact itself or to hugging being a behavioral indicator of support and intimacy.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for indicator

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • مؤشّرArabic
  • индикаторBulgarian
  • ukazatelCzech
  • Zeiger, Fahrtrichtungsanzeiger, Anzeige, Indikator, BlinkerGerman
  • μετρητής, δείκτης πορείας, δείκτηςGreek
  • indicadorSpanish
  • mittalaite, suuntavilkku, mittari, indikaattori, indikaattorilaji, osoitinFinnish
  • indicateur, aiguille, clignotant, signofileFrench
  • irányjelző, indexHungarian
  • frecciaItalian
  • 指示薬, 方向指示器, インジケーター, インジケータ, 針Japanese
  • indicatorLatin
  • blinkelys, viser, måler, retningsviser, indikatorNorwegian
  • wskaźnikPolish
  • indicator, semnalizatorRomanian
  • стрелка, индикатор, указатель, поворотникRussian
  • migavac, žmigavacSerbo-Croatian
  • blinker, mätare, indikator, körriktningsvisareSwedish
  • సూచికTelugu
  • ไฟเลี้ยวThai
  • gTurkish

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"indicator." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 14 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/indicator>.

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