- The definition of a compass is a tool with two pointed legs connected by a hinge, one end with a writing device the other used as a stable pivot, used for drawing perfect circles and other things.
An example of compass is what an architect uses for drawing curves in a building plan.
- A compass is defined as a device with magnetic needles used for showing the direction one is facing.
An example of a compass is what a backpacker would use to find their way through the woods.
- The definition of compass means to understand, grasp or fulfill.
An example of to compass is figuring out why your car won't start.
A compass lying on a set of architects drawings.
compass definition by Webster's New World
- Archaic to go around; make a circuit of
- encompass (sense )
- to grasp mentally; understand; comprehend
- to reach successfully; achieve; accomplish: to compass one's ends
- to plot or contrive (something harmful)
Origin: Middle English compassen ; from Old French compasser, to go around ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form compassare ; from Classical Latin com-, together plush passus, a step: see pace
- an instrument consisting of two pointed legs connected at one end by a pivot, used for drawing arcs or circles or for taking measurementsalso called pair of compasses
- a boundary line; circumference
- an enclosed area
- full extent or range; reach; scope; specif., range of tones, as of a voice
- any of various instruments for showing direction, esp. one consisting of a magnetic needle swinging freely on a pivot and pointing to the magnetic north
- Archaic a circuit; course
Origin: ME & OFr compas, a circle, prob. < the v.
- compassable adjective
compass definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- a. A device used to determine geographic direction, usually consisting of a magnetic needle or needles horizontally mounted or suspended and free to pivot until aligned with the earth's magnetic field.b. Another device, such as a radio compass or a gyrocompass, used for determining geographic direction.
- A V-shaped device for describing circles or circular arcs and for taking measurements, consisting of a pair of rigid, end-hinged legs, one of which is equipped with a pen, pencil, or other marker and the other with a sharp point providing a pivot about which the drawing leg is turned. Also called pair of compasses.
- a. An enclosing line or boundary; a circumference: outside the compass of the fence. See Synonyms at circumference.b. A restricted space or area: four huge crates within the compass of the elevator.c. Range or scope, as of understanding, perception, or authority: “Lacking a coherent intellectual and moral commitment, [he] was forced to find his compass in personal experience” (Doris Kearns Goodwin). See Synonyms at range.
- Music See range.
- To make a circuit of; circle: The sailboat compassed the island.
- To surround; encircle. See Synonyms at surround.
- To understand; comprehend.
- To succeed in carrying out; accomplish. See Synonyms at reach.
- To scheme; plot.
- Forming a curved configuration.
- Semicircular. Used of bow windows.
Origin: Middle English compas, circle, compass, from Old French, from compasser, to measure, from Vulgar Latin *compassāre, to pace off : Latin com-, com- + Latin passus, step; see pace1.
- comˈpass·a·ble adjective
compass - Science Definition
- A device used to determine geographical direction, usually consisting of a magnetic needle mounted on a pivot, aligning itself naturally with the Earth's magnetic field so that it points to the Earth's geomagnetic north or south pole.
- A device used for drawing circles and arcs and for measuring distances on maps, consisting of two legs hinged together at one end.