Compasses

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Compasses'

Compasses Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Compasses \Com"pass*es\, n., pl. An instrument for describing circles, measuring figures, etc., consisting of two, or (rarely) more, pointed branches, or legs, usually joined at the top by a rivet on which they move. Note: The compasses for drawing circles have adjustable pen points, pencil points, etc.; those used for measuring without adjustable points are generally called dividers. See Dividers. Bow compasses. See Bow-compass. Caliber compasses, Caliper compasses. See Calipers. Proportional, Triangular, etc., compasses. See under Proportional, etc.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Compasses'


A compass is a navigational instrument for determining direction relative to the Earth's magnetic poles. It consists of a magnetized pointer (usually marked on the North end) free to align itself with Earth's magnetic field. The compass greatly improved the safety and efficiency of travel, especially ocean travel. A compass can be used to calculate heading, used with a sextant to calculate latitude, and with a marine chronometer to calculate longitude. It thus provides a much improved navigational capability that has only been recently supplanted by modern devices such as the Global Positioning System (GPS). A compass is any magnetically sensitive device capable of indicating the direction of the magnetic north of a planet's magnetosphere. The face of the compass generally highlights the cardinal points of north, south, east and west. Often, compasses are built as a stand alone sealed instrument with a magnetized bar or needle turning freely upon a pivot, or moving in a fluid, thus able to point in a northerly and southerly direction. The compass was invented in ancient China around 247 B.C., and was used for navigation by the 11th century. The dry compass was invented in medieval Europe around 1300.

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Compasses Sample Sentences in News


  • Walk this way: 6 pedometer apps for iPhone
    It seems really weird to think back to a time when your mobile phone couldn't do the jobs of a dozen other devices. Now that smartphones have supplanted everything from compasses and Rolodexes to voice recorders and watches, we rely on them to do dozens of things. Add to that list "count my steps," as newer smartphone models often double as fitness t Read more on this news related to 'Compasses'
  • Cheyenne River Youth Project
    A nonprofit group has provided school supplies to more than 500 children on South Dakota’s Cheyenne River reservation. The supplies given by the organization Cheyenne River Youth Project include backpacks, compasses, calculators and mechanical pencils. Read more on this news related to 'Compasses'
  • Warren teachers look ahead to new school year
    FRONT ROYAL -- At Warren County Public Schools' Wednesday morning convocation, keynote speaker Scott Habeeb asked educators to be compasses for students this school year. Read more on this news related to 'Compasses'

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