Surveyor's compass
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. [1913 Webster]

They fetched a compass of seven day's journey. --2 Kings iii. 9. [1913 Webster]

This day I breathed first; time is come round, And where I did begin, there shall I end; My life is run his compass. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. An inclosing limit; boundary; circumference; as, within the compass of an encircling wall. [1913 Webster]

3. An inclosed space; an area; extent. [1913 Webster]

Their wisdom . . . lies in a very narrow compass. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

4. Extent; reach; sweep; capacity; sphere; as, the compass of his eye; the compass of imagination. [1913 Webster]

The compass of his argument. --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster]

5. Moderate bounds, limits of truth; moderation; due limits; -- used with within. [1913 Webster]

In two hundred years before (I speak within compass), no such commission had been executed. --Sir J. Davies. [1913 Webster]

6. (Mus.) The range of notes, or tones, within the capacity of a voice or instrument. [1913 Webster]

You would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

He that first discovered the use of the compass did more for the supplying and increase of useful commodities than those who built workhouses. --Locke. [1913 Webster]

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

To fix one foot of their compass wherever they please. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

9. A circle; a continent. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

The tryne compas [the threefold world containing earth, sea, and heaven. --Skeat.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

{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. [1913 Webster]

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

{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. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Surveyor's compass — Surveyor Sur*vey or, n. 1. One placed to superintend others; an overseer; an inspector. [1913 Webster] Were t not madness then, To make the fox surveyor of the fold? Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. One who views and examines for the purpose of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • surveyor's compass — noun or surveyor s dial : an instrument used in surveying for measuring horizontal angles compare circumferentor 1, semicircumferentor * * * an instrument used by surveyors for measuring azimuths. Also called surveyor s dial. * * * surveyor s… …   Useful english dictionary

  • surveyor's compass — an instrument used by surveyors for measuring azimuths. Also called surveyor s dial. * * * …   Universalium

  • Surveyor's level — Surveyor Sur*vey or, n. 1. One placed to superintend others; an overseer; an inspector. [1913 Webster] Were t not madness then, To make the fox surveyor of the fold? Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. One who views and examines for the purpose of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • surveyor's dial — noun see surveyor s compass * * * surveyor s compass or surveyor s dial, an instrument for determining the horizontal direction of a line in reference to the direction of a magnetic needle …   Useful english dictionary

  • Surveyor's transit — Transit Trans it, n. [L. transitus, from transire to go over: cf. F. transit. See {Transient}.] 1. The act of passing; passage through or over. [1913 Webster] In France you are now . . . in the transit from one form of government to another.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • surveyor's transit — Transit Trans it, n. [L. transitus, from transire to go over: cf. F. transit. See {Transient}.] 1. The act of passing; passage through or over. [1913 Webster] In France you are now . . . in the transit from one form of government to another.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mariner's compass — 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. [1913 Webster] They fetched a compass of seven day s …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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. [1913 Webster] They fetched a compass of seven day s journey …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Compass card — 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. [1913 Webster] They fetched a compass of seven day s …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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