An example of a compass is what a backpacker would use to find their way through the woods.
An example of to compass is figuring out why your car won't start.
An example of compass is what an architect uses for drawing curves in a building plan.
Their wisdom […] lies in a very narrow compass.
Clara thought she had never seen him look so small and mean. He was as if trying to get himself into the smallest possible compass.
This day I breathed first; time is come round, / And where I did begin, there shall I end; / My life is run his compass.
The sailboat compassed the island.
The trees compass the grave.
Compass the death of the king.
To compass one's ends.
Origin of compass
- 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 pace1
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- For verb: from Middle English compassen (“to go around, make a circuit, draw a circle, contrive, intend”), from Old French compasser; from the noun; see compass as a noun.