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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
compass rose
▪ Turns on to headings will be made at the standard rate, but using the stop-watch, not magnetic compass.
▪ Remember that the magnetic compass, clock and stop-watch are your most important navigation instruments.
▪ If this is simply a directional gyro it must be synchronised with the magnetic compass at frequent intervals.
▪ His distinguishing trait is an unwavering moral compass, conspicuous by its absence in college basketball.
Point the truck west and the engine is now to the left, so it pulls the compass needle left.
▪ The compass needle points to the magnetic north pole.
▪ Contact:. 5 Learn how to use a compass at Jerusalem Farm in Calderdale.
▪ Scarcely used is the compass, the flasher and the watch.
▪ This method of finding the way was used until compasses and maps were invented.
▪ He used his new plastic compass to hold a bearing due north.
▪ To cut a board around a curved or irregular object such as a stone or pipe, use a compass.
moral compass
▪ Our compass showed that the body pointed straight towards Skeleton Island, and in a line East-South-East and by East.
▪ Some scientists think that they use the sun as a compass.
▪ The compass card will swing back when attitude is stabilised after the turn - Overshoot your heading.
▪ The exponent is guided by the directions of the compass and defends each area with a block and counter-attack.
▪ The very last thing I note is which direction a swim faces and for this I carry a small compass.
▪ This inner focus is truly the compass of our lives, directing us in the ways we live and behave.
▪ To cut a board around a curved or irregular object such as a stone or pipe, use a compass.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Compass \Com"pass\ (k[u^]m"pas), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Compassed (k[u^]m"past); p. pr. & vb. n. Compassing.] [F. compasser, LL. compassare.]

  1. To go about or entirely round; to make the circuit of.

    Ye shall compass the city seven times.
    --Josh. vi. 4.

    We the globe can compass soon.

  2. To inclose on all sides; to surround; to encircle; to environ; to invest; to besiege; -- used with about, round, around, and round about.

    With terrors and with clamors compassed round.

    Now all the blessings Of a glad father compass thee about.

    Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round.
    --Luke xix. 4

  3. 3. To reach round; to circumvent; to get within one's power; to obtain; to accomplish.

    If I can check my erring love, I will: If not, to compass her I'll use my skill.

    How can you hope to compass your designs?

  4. To curve; to bend into a circular form. [Obs. except in carpentry and shipbuilding.]

  5. (Law) To purpose; to intend; to imagine; to plot.

    Compassing and imagining the death of the king are synonymous terms; compassing signifying the purpose or design of the mind or will, and not, as in common speech, the carrying such design to effect.


Compass \Com"pass\ (k[u^]m"pas), n. [F. compas, fr. LL. compassus circle, prop., a stepping together; com- + passus pace, step. See Pace, Pass.]

  1. A passing round; circuit; circuitous course.

    They fetched a compass of seven day's journey.
    --2 Kings iii. 9.

    This day I breathed first; time is come round, And where I did begin, there shall I end; My life is run his compass.

  2. An inclosing limit; boundary; circumference; as, within the compass of an encircling wall.

  3. An inclosed space; an area; extent.

    Their wisdom . . . lies in a very narrow compass.

  4. Extent; reach; sweep; capacity; sphere; as, the compass of his eye; the compass of imagination.

    The compass of his argument.

  5. Moderate bounds, limits of truth; moderation; due limits; -- used with within.

    In two hundred years before (I speak within compass), no such commission had been executed.
    --Sir J. Davies.

  6. (Mus.) The range of notes, or tones, within the capacity of a voice or instrument.

    You would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass.

  7. An instrument for determining directions upon the earth's surface by means of a magnetized bar or needle turning freely upon a pivot and pointing in a northerly and southerly direction.

    He that first discovered the use of the compass did more for the supplying and increase of useful commodities than those who built workhouses.

  8. A pair of compasses. [R.] See Compasses.

    To fix one foot of their compass wherever they please.

  9. A circle; a continent. [Obs.]

    The tryne compas [the threefold world containing earth, sea, and heaven.

    Azimuth compass. See under Azimuth.

    Beam compass. See under Beam.

    Compass card, the circular card attached to the needles of a mariner's compass, on which are marked the thirty-two points or rhumbs.

    Compass dial, a small pocket compass fitted with a sundial to tell the hour of the day.

    Compass plane (Carp.), a plane, convex in the direction of its length on the under side, for smoothing the concave faces of curved woodwork.

    Compass plant, Compass flower (Bot.), a plant of the American prairies ( Silphium laciniatum), not unlike a small sunflower; rosinweed. Its lower and root leaves are vertical, and on the prairies are disposed to present their edges north and south.

    Its leaves are turned to the north as true as the magnet: This is the compass flower.

    Compass saw, a saw with a narrow blade, which will cut in a curve; -- called also fret saw and keyhole saw.

    Compass timber (Shipbuilding), curved or crooked timber.

    Compass window (Arch.), a circular bay window or oriel window.

    Mariner's compass, a kind of compass used in navigation. It has two or more magnetic needles permanently attached to a card, which moves freely upon a pivot, and is read with reference to a mark on the box representing the ship's head. The card is divided into thirty-two points, called also rhumbs, and the glass-covered box or bowl containing it is suspended in gimbals within the binnacle, in order to preserve its horizontal position.

    Surveyor's compass, an instrument used in surveying for measuring horizontal angles. See Circumferentor.

    Variation compass, a compass of delicate construction, used in observations on the variations of the needle.

    To fetch a compass, to make a circuit.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1300, "space, area, extent, circumference," from Old French compas "circle, radius, pair of compasses" (12c.), from compasser "to go around, measure, divide equally," from Vulgar Latin *compassare "to pace out" (source of Italian compassare, Spanish compasar), from Latin com- "together" (see com-) + passus "a step" (see pace (n.)).\n

\nThe mathematical instrument so called from mid-14c. The mariners' directional tool (so called since early 15c.) took the name, perhaps, because it's round and has a point like the mathematical instrument. The word is in most European languages, with a mathematical sense in Romance, a nautical sense in Germanic, and both in English.


c.1300, "to devise, plan;" early 14c. as "to surround, contain, envelop, enclose;" from Anglo-French cumpasser, from compass (n.). Related: Compassed; compassing.


adv. (context obsolete English) In a circuit; round about. n. 1 A magnetic or electronic device used to determine the cardinal directions (usually Magnetic North or true north). 2 A pair of compasses (a device used to draw an arc or circle). 3 (context music English) The range of notes of a musical instrument or voice. 4 (context obsolete English) A space within limits; are

  1. 5 (context obsolete English) An enclosing limit; boundary; circumference. 6 Moderate bounds, limits of truth; moderation; due limits; used with ''within''. 7 scope. 8 (context obsolete English) A passing round; circuit; circuitous course. v

  2. 1 To surround; to encircle; to environ; to stretch round. 2 To go about or round entirely; to traverse. 3 (context dated English) To accomplish; to reach; to achieve; to obtain. 4 (context dated English) To plot; to scheme (against someone).

  1. v. bring about; accomplish; "This writer attempts more than his talents can compass"

  2. travel around, either by plane or ship; "We compassed the earth" [syn: circumnavigate]

  3. get the meaning of something; "Do you comprehend the meaning of this letter?" [syn: get the picture, comprehend, savvy, dig, grasp, apprehend]

  1. n. navigational instrument for finding directions

  2. an area in which something acts or operates or has power or control: "the range of a supersonic jet"; "the ambit of municipal legislation"; "within the compass of this article"; "within the scope of an investigation"; "outside the reach of the law"; "in the political orbit of a world power" [syn: scope, range, reach, orbit, ambit]

  3. the limit of capability; "within the compass of education" [syn: range, reach, grasp]

  4. drafting instrument used for drawing circles


COMPASS is an acronym for COMPrehensive ASSembler. COMPASS is any of a family of macro assembly languages on Control Data Corporation's 3000 series, and on the 60-bit CDC 6000 series, 7600 and Cyber 70 and 170 series mainframe computers. While the architectures are very different, the macro and conditional assembly facilities are similar.

Compass (architecture)

In carpentry, architecture, and shipbuilding, a compass is a curve (or bent) circular form. A compass plane is a plane that is convex, length-ways, on the underside, for smoothing the concave faces of curved woodwork. A compass saw is a narrow-bladed saw that cuts a curve. A compass timber is a curved (or crooked) timber. A compass brick is a curved brick. A compass wall is a curved wall. A compass window is a circular bay window (or oriel window).

A Surveyor's compass (or circumferentor) is a measuring instrument used in surveying horizontal angles.

Compass (disambiguation)

A compass is a navigational instrument that indicates the direction to the magnetic poles.

Compass may also refer to:

Compass (law)

In Law, to compass is to purpose (or intend) something. It is an individual that is imagining something or to plot a plan. Compassing signifies a purpose (or design) of the mind (or will), and not carrying such design to effect.

Compass (TV program)
This article is about the Australian television program. For the local CBC Television newscast in Prince Edward Island, Canada, see CBC News: Compass.

Compass is an Australian weekly news-documentary program screened on ABC Television on Sunday nights. Presented by Geraldine Doogue, the program is devoted to providing information about faith, values, ethics, and religion from across the globe.

Compass (Jamie Lidell album)

Compass is a 2010 album by Jamie Lidell, released May 18. It is produced by Lidell and features additional production by Beck, Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor, Lindsey Rome and Robbie Lackritz.

Compass (drawing tool)

A compass is a technical drawing instrument that can be used for inscribing circles or arcs. As dividers, they can also be used as tools to measure distances, in particular on maps. Compasses can be used for mathematics, drafting, navigation, and other purposes.

Compasses are usually made of metal or plastic, and consist of two parts connected by a hinge which can be adjusted to allow the changing of the radius of the circle drawn. Typically one part has a spike at its end, and the other part a pencil, or sometimes a pen.

Prior to computerization, compasses and other tools for manual drafting were often packaged as a "bow set" with interchangeable parts. Today these facilities are more often provided by computer-aided design programs, so the physical tools serve mainly a didactic purpose in teaching geometry, technical drawing, etc.

Compass (think tank)

Compass is a British left-wing pressure group, aligned with the Labour Party which describes itself as: "'An umbrella grouping of the progressive left whose sum is greater than its parts". Compass differs from other think tanks in that it is a membership based organisation and thus seeks to be a pressure group and a force for political organisation and mobilisation.

Compass was launched in 2003 with the publication of a founding statement called A Vision for the Democratic Left. Supported by a number of academics and Labour politicians unhappy with the political direction of prime minister Tony Blair this was the first attempt by Compass to develop a more coherent and radical programme for a Labour government. Since then it has published pamphlets and a series of booklets as part of its Programme for Renewal charting an alternative path for left governments and for Centre-Left activists in the UK.

Compass (Mark Vincent song)

Compass is a song written by Diane Warren and originally recorded by Australian singer Mark Vincent, the winner of the third series of Australia's Got Talent, for his second studio album of the same name (2010).

"Compass" was later recorded by Norwegian classical recording artist Didrik Solli-Tangen. It was released in February 2011 through Universal Norway as the third and final single from Solli-Tangen's debut studio album Guilty Pleasures (2011). The song failed to chart.

Compass (Hudson)

Compass is a public artwork by American artist Jon Barlow Hudson, located above the Brady Street Pedestrian Bridge, which is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America.

Compass (Falling Skies)

"Compass" is the third episode of the second season of the American television drama series Falling Skies, and the 13th overall episode of the series. It originally aired on TNT in the United States on June 24, 2012. It was written by Brian Oh and directed by Michael Katleman.

Compass (Simpson)

Compass is a public art work by American artist Gail Simpson, located on the east side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The painted alumnium sculpture was commissioned by the Eastside Business Improvement District #20 to serve as a gateway for pedestrians and vehicular traffic entering the North Avenue commercial zone. A tall stainless steel light post salvaged from the demolition of Milwaukee's Park East Freeway is surrounded by a colorful array of painted aluminum signs that protrude in a spiral formation. Each sign has a distinctive shape and word cut out in a unique typeface intended to reflect the history and character of the neighborhood. The artwork is located in the traffic median on the east side of the North Avenue Bridge. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel architecture critic Whitney Gould called the project, "part sculpture, part signpost."

Compass (Assemblage 23 album)

Compass is the sixth album by the American electronic act Assemblage 23. It was released on October 1, 2009 on Metropolis Records and Accession Records.

Compass (band)

Zhinanzhen (指南针乐队 The Compass) are a Chinese rock band formed in Sichuan in 1990, coming to Beijing in 1991. The band's original lineup was singer Luo Qi, with guitarist Zhou Di, Keyboardist Guo Liang, drummer Zheng Chaozhen, and saxophonist Yuan Ding. Luo Qi parted ways with the band, going solo then leaving China for Germany for six years.

For the album Wufa taotuo the six-man line up was singer Liu Zhēngróng, bass Yue Haokun, and the four original members: guitarist Zhou Di, Keyboardist Guo Liang, drummer Zheng Chaozhen, and saxophonist Yuan Ding.

Compass (Canadian TV series)

Compass was a Canadian documentary and current affairs television series which aired on CBC Television from 1965 to 1966.

Compass (Mark Vincent album)

Compass is the second studio album by Australian tenor, Mark Vincent. The album was released through Sony Music Australia on 15 April 2010 and peaked at number 2 on the ARIA Charts. The album was certified gold.

The album includes the title track "Compass" which was written by Dianne Warren especially for Mark.

Compass (Lady Antebellum song)

"Compass" is a song recorded by American country music group Lady Antebellum. The song was written by members of the pop/R&B production team Stargate, and was produced by Nathan Chapman and Lady Antebellum. It was released as the third overall single from the group's fifth studio album, Golden, on October 1, 2013 by Capitol Records Nashville, and is included on the deluxe edition re-issue of the album.

In 2015, the song was used in the E3 world reveal trailer for the upcoming 2016 theme park simulation video game " Planet Coaster", which is being developed by Frontier Developments.

Usage examples of "compass".

Next to the clock was the magnetic compass he had set as they left the Archerfish and moved out on course.

On the second finger of his right hand he wore a narrow gold ring, engraved with a compass and a backstaff, the tools of the navigator, and above these a crowned lion.

Chief among these were a chart and compass, and a backstaff if they could find one.

Following these directions, other bees would find the food, fill up on it, and aim unerringly back to the hive, a calculation that for a human would require a stop watch, a compass and vector calculus.

The most widely prevalent movement is essentially of the same nature as that of the stem of a climbing plant, which bends successively to all points of the compass, so that the tip revolves.

The delicate boresight is not needed, nor are the plotting boards, compass, aiming stakes, maps, or firing tables.

Somerville vanished, and even Tufts College, which assails the Bostonian vision from every point of the compass, was shut out by the curve at the foot of the Belmont hills.

From the particulars above given, and remembering in the case of twining plants and of tendrils, how difficult it is not to mistake their bending to all points of the compass for true torsion, we are led to believe that the stems of this Ceratophyllum circumnutate, probably in the shape of narrow ellipses, each completed in about 26 h.

Rang with so round and quick a Compass, that in the space of half an hour, or little more, the 720 Changes are Rang out from the beginning to the end.

Gargoyles and cherubin were carved in stately rows around its cornice, while Corinthian columns held the four porticos at the cardinal compass points.

The various houses and clusters were connected by compass sights and by measurements.

With the Compasses and Scale, we can trace all the figures used in the mathematics of planes, or in what are called GEOMETRY and TRIGONOMETRY, two words that are themselves deficient in meaning.

The Eagle is to us the symbol of Liberty, the Compasses of Equality, the Pelican of Humanity, and our order of Fraternity.

Daish Reik had laughed and clapped Kheda on the shoulder, brushing into oblivion the pattern of both earthly and heavenly compasses that he had so painstakingly drawn in the sand to illustrate some earlier point.

Besides, there is no ship employed in long voyages which does not possess at least two compasses, as she has two chronometers.