Naut. a device for taking bearings, consisting of a flat metal ring, equipped with sighting vanes or a small telescope, that fits over a compass card or gyrocompass
Origin of pelorusuncertain or unknown; perhaps after Classical Latin Pelorus, pilot of Hannibal's ship
A fixed compass card on which bearings relative to a ship's heading are taken.
Origin of pelorusProbably named around 1854 by the applicants for the British patent on the device, after Latin Pelōrus Greek Pelōros the name of a skilled pilot whom Hannibal is said to have put to death in Messina for treachery (although Hannibal later realized the pilot's faithfulness and erected a monument to him there) probably a legendary name derived from Greek Pelōros, Pelōrias ancient names of Messina probably from pelōros prodigious, monstrous ( perhaps from the dangerous whirlpool, winds, and currents of the Strait of Messina ); see peloria .
- A device used to take a bearing on a distant object.
Reportedly the name of Hannibal's pilot.