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Crossword clues for sextant

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Because of the track, navigation had been easy and I had been leaving my sextant in the Land Rover.
▪ Even Powell, constantly consulting sextant and compass, felt flummoxed.
▪ Once, Billy Hawkins got up in the middle of dinner, walked to the boats, and pulled out the sextant.
▪ So I forgot about him, at least until that evening when I gave Ellen some practice with the sextant.
▪ That was one of the problems of using the piste and a sextant.
▪ You had to be able to fix your position just like a ship at sea, with sextant and star charts.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sextant \Sex"tant\, n. [L. sextans, -antis, the sixth part of an as, fr. sextus sixth, sex six. See Six.]

  1. (Math.) The sixth part of a circle.

  2. An instrument for measuring angular distances between objects, -- used esp. at sea, for ascertaining the latitude and longitude. It is constructed on the same optical principle as Hadley's quadrant, but usually of metal, with a nicer graduation, telescopic sight, and its arc the sixth, and sometimes the third, part of a circle. See Quadrant.

  3. (Astron.) The constellation Sextans.

    Box sextant, a small sextant inclosed in a cylindrical case to make it more portable.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

instrument for determining latitude, 1620s, from Modern Latin sextans, said to have been coined c.1600 by Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, from Latin sextans "a sixth," from sex "six" (see six). So called because the sextans has a graduated arc equal to a sixth part of a circle.


n. 1 (context nautical English) A navigational device for deriving angular distances between objects so as to determine latitude and longitude. 2 (context geometry English) One sixth of a circle or disc; a sector with an angle of 60°.

  1. n. a unit of angular distance equal to 60 degrees

  2. a measuring instrument for measuring the angular distance between celestial objects; resembles an octant

Sextant (disambiguation)

Sextant may refer to:

  • Sextant (circle), a circular sector equal to one sixth of a circle, or a third of a semicircle
  • Sextant, a navigation instrument
  • Sextant (astronomical), a non-reflecting astronomical instrument for measuring angles
  • Mural sextant, a non-reflecting, wall-mounted astronomical instrument for measuring the altitude of a celestial object
  • Sextant (album), by Herbie Hancock
  • Cairo Conference, held in Cairo, Egypt in 1943 codenamed SEXTANT
Sextant (album)

Sextant is the eleventh album by Herbie Hancock, and the last album with his Mwandishi Band.

Sextant (astronomical)
''This article is about the Sextant as used for astrometry. For the navigator's sextant, see Sextant.''

Sextants for astronomical observations were devices depicting a sixth of a circle, used primarily for measuring the positions of stars. They are of significant historical importance, but have been replaced over time by transit telescopes, astrometry techniques, and satellites such as Hipparcos.

There are two types of astronomical sextants, mural instruments and frame-based instruments.

Usage examples of "sextant".

When everything else gave outloran and shortwave and all the fancy electronic hoo-ha that boats have nowadays, Jim Ivins could still get out a brass sextant and hand off the bow and tell you where you were.

Kosher Cohen stood under the Perspex astrodome fixing the stars through a sextant.

Sailors could tell their latitude by the angle of the sun off the horizon, had been doing it for a thousand years with cross-staffs, astrolabes, octants and sextants.

He used the sextant, as Andersen had taught him, to get a position that let him add one more black ink-dot to the line of black dots on the blank page that was to be their map.

For her part, Leie had been fascinated by mechanical devices, while Maia focused on charts and sextants and slender telescopes with their clicking, finely beveled housings.

Then we began to train our sextants rather wildly all around the horizon, and wherever we looked, there was the sun, puzzlingly close to the sky-line, sometimes above it and sometimes below it.

We had in addition several sextants and artificial horizons, both glass and mercury.

Of instruments and apparatus for the sledge journeys we carried two sextants, three artificial horizons, of which two were glass horizons with dark glasses, and one a mercury horizon, and four spirit compasses, made in Christiania.

The instruments we carried were two sextants and three artificial horizons -- two glass and one mercury -- a hypsometer for measuring heights, and one aneroid.

At this point Europe was invaded by barbarian motorcycle gangs such as the Angles, the Franks, the Jutes, the Teds, the Sextants, the Ventricles, and Martha and the Vandellas.

His companions, seeminglv without purpose, toppled past and dropped random objects into the bubbling cauldron: the sextant, a cheese, the keg of nails, a length of rope, and all manner of lunatic things.

Handing the sextant to Jamieson, he quickly removed Ulbricht's duffel hood, balaclavas and goggles.

I bought an entrance ticket to Snowshill Manor, now in the hands of the National Trust but from 1919 to 1956 the home of an eccentric character named Charles Wade, who devoted his life to accumulating a vast and unfocused assortment of stuff, some of it very good, some of it little more than junk - clavichords, microscopes, Flemish tapestries, snuff and tobacco boxes, maps and sextants, samurai armour, penny-farthing bicycles, you name it - until he had filled his house so full that there was no room left for him.

There was a fine web of wrinkles around his piercing blue eyes not from squinting through a sextant nor from tropical suns on far oceans and coral beaches, Craig was certain, but from perusing price-tags and cheque figures.

On the deckside, only two were on watch - you and Trent down in the Captain's cabin there keeping an eye on the sextant and chronometer.