Definitions for jacob's staff

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. ocotillo, coachwhip, Jacob's staff, vine cactus, Fouquieria splendens(noun)

    desert shrub of southwestern United States and Mexico having slender naked spiny branches that after the rainy season put forth foliage and clusters of red flowers

Freebase

  1. Jacob's staff

    The term Jacob's staff, also cross-staff, a ballastella, a fore-staff, or a balestilha, is used to refer to several things. This can lead to considerable confusion unless one clarifies the purpose for the object so named. The two most frequent uses are: in astronomy and navigation for a simple device to measure angles, later replaced by the more precise sextants; in surveying for a vertical rod that penetrates the ground and supports a compass or other instrument.

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