Definitions for COMPASSˈkʌm pəs

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

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

com•passˈkʌm pəs(n.)

  1. an instrument for determining directions, as by means of a freely rotating magnetized needle that indicates magnetic north.

    Category: Geography (terms)

  2. Often, compasses. an instrument for drawing or describing circles, measuring distances, etc., consisting generally of two hinged, movable legs (often used with pair of).

    Category: Surveying

  3. the enclosing line or limits of any area; perimeter.

  4. space within limits; scope:

    the broad compass of the novel.

  5. the total range of tones of a voice or of a musical instrument.

    Category: Music and Dance

  6. due or proper limits; moderate bounds:

    to act within the compass of propriety.

  7. a passing round; circuit:

    the compass of a year.

  8. (adj.)curved; forming a curve or arc:

    a compass roof.

  9. (v.t.)to go or move around; make the circuit of:

    to compass the city on foot.

  10. to extend or stretch around; surround; encircle:

    A stone wall compasses the property.

  11. to attain or achieve; accomplish; obtain.

  12. to contrive; plot; scheme.

  13. to make curved or circular.

  14. to comprehend; grasp, as with the mind.

Origin of compass:

1250–1300; (v.) ME < OF compasser to measure < VL *compāssāre, v. der. of *compāssus equal step (L com-com - +pāssuspace1); (n.) ME < OF, der. of compasser

com′pass•a•ble(adj.)

Princeton's WordNet

  1. compass(noun)

    navigational instrument for finding directions

  2. scope, range, reach, orbit, compass, ambit(noun)

    an area in which something acts or operates or has power or control: "the range of a supersonic jet"

    "a piano has a greater range than the human voice"; "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"

  3. compass, range, reach, grasp(noun)

    the limit of capability

    "within the compass of education"

  4. compass(verb)

    drafting instrument used for drawing circles

  5. compass(verb)

    bring about; accomplish

    "This writer attempts more than his talents can compass"

  6. circumnavigate, compass(verb)

    travel around, either by plane or ship

    "We compassed the earth"

  7. grok, get the picture, comprehend, savvy, dig, grasp, compass, apprehend(verb)

    get the meaning of something

    "Do you comprehend the meaning of this letter?"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. compass(noun)ˈkʌm pəs

    a device for finding which way north is

    ***Use a compass to guide you.

  2. compassˈkʌm pəs

    a device for drawing circles

    ***to draw a circle with a compass

Wiktionary

  1. compass(Noun)

    A magnetic or electronic device used to determine the cardinal directions (usually magnetic or true north).

  2. compass(Noun)

    A pair of compasses (a device used to draw an arc or circle).

  3. compass(Noun)

    The range of notes of a musical instrument or voice.

  4. compass(Noun)

    A space within limits; area.

  5. compass(Noun)

    Scope.

  6. compass(Verb)

    To surround; to encircle; to environ; to stretch round.

  7. compass(Verb)

    To go about or round entirely; to traverse.

  8. compass(Verb)

    To accomplish; to reach; to achieve; to obtain.

  9. compass(Verb)

    To plot; to scheme (against someone).

  10. compass(Adverb)

    In a circuit; round about.

  11. Origin: For noun: from compas, from compas, from compassus, from com- + passus; see pass, pace.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Compass(noun)

    a passing round; circuit; circuitous course

  2. Compass(noun)

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

  3. Compass(noun)

    an inclosed space; an area; extent

  4. Compass(noun)

    extent; reach; sweep; capacity; sphere; as, the compass of his eye; the compass of imagination

  5. Compass(noun)

    moderate bounds, limits of truth; moderation; due limits; -- used with within

  6. Compass(noun)

    the range of notes, or tones, within the capacity of a voice or instrument

  7. Compass(noun)

    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

  8. Compass(noun)

    a pair of compasses

  9. Compass(noun)

    a circle; a continent

  10. Compass(verb)

    to go about or entirely round; to make the circuit of

  11. Compass(verb)

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

  12. Compass(verb)

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

  13. Compass(verb)

    to curve; to bend into a circular form

  14. Compass(verb)

    to purpose; to intend; to imagine; to plot

Freebase

  1. Compass

    A compass is a navigational instrument that shows directions in a frame of reference that is stationary relative to the surface of the earth. The frame of reference defines the four cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west. Intermediate directions are also defined. Usually, a diagram called a compass rose, which shows the directions, is marked on the compass. When the compass is in use, the rose is aligned with the real directions in the frame of reference, so, for example, the "N" mark on the rose really points to the north. Frequently, in addition to the rose or sometimes instead of it, angle markings in degrees are shown on the compass. North corresponds to zero degrees, and the angles increase clockwise, so east is 90 degrees, south is 180, and west is 270. These numbers allow the compass to show azimuths or bearings, which are commonly stated in this notation. The magnetic compass was first invented as a device for divination as early as the Chinese Han Dynasty. The compass was used in Song Dynasty China by the military for navigational orienteering by 1040-1044, and was used for maritime navigation by 1111 to 1117. The use of a compass is recorded in Western Europe between 1187 and 1202, and in Persia in 1232. The dry compass was invented in Europe around 1300. This was supplanted in the early 20th century by the liquid-filled magnetic compass.

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Compass

    An apparatus for utilizing the directive force of the earth upon the magnetic needle. It consists of a circular case, within which is poised a magnetized bar of steel. This points approximately to the north, and is used on ships and elsewhere to constantly show the direction of the magnetic meridian. Two general types are used. In one the needle is mounted above a fixed "card" or dial, on which degrees or points of the compass, q. v., are inscribed. In the other the card is attached to the needle and rotates with it. The latter represents especially the type known as the mariner's compass. (See Compass, Mariner's--Compass, Spirit, and other titles under compass, also Magnetic Axis--Magnetic Elements.) The needle in good compasses carries for a bearing at its centre, a little agate cup, and a sharp brass pin is the point of support.


Translations for COMPASS

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary

compass

an instrument with a magnetized needle, used to find directions

If he had carried a compass he would not have lost his way on the hills.

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