Compass Definition

kŭmpəs, kŏm-
compasses
noun
compasses
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.
American Heritage
An enclosing line or boundary; a circumference.
Outside the compass of the fence.
American Heritage
Any of various instruments for showing geographical direction, esp. one consisting of a magnetic needle swinging freely on a pivot and pointing to the magnetic north.
Webster's New World
A boundary line; circumference.
Webster's New World
Awareness or understanding of one's purpose or objectives.
American Heritage
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verb
compasses
To go around; make a circuit of.
Webster's New World
To surround; encircle.
The trees compass the grave.
American Heritage
Webster's New World
To grasp mentally; understand; comprehend.
Webster's New World
To accomplish or bring about.
American Heritage
Antonyms:
losefail
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adjective
Round; circular or semicircular.
Webster's New World
Forming a curve.
American Heritage
adverb
(obsolete) In a circuit; round about.
Wiktionary

Other Word Forms of Compass

Noun

Singular:
compass
Plural:
compasses

Origin of Compass

  • For noun: from Middle English compas (“a circle, circuit, limit, form, a mathematical instrument”), from Old French compas, from Medieval Latin compassus (“a circle, a circuit”), from Latin com- (“together”) + passus (“a pace, step, later a pass, way, route”); see pass, pace.

    From Wiktionary

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary

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