Magnetic-compass definitions

An instrument that uses a magnetized steel bar to indicate direction relative to the earth's magnetic poles.
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A compass that works by the action of the earth's magnetic field, as on a magnetic needle.
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The definition of a magnetic compass is a device with a magnetized rod that shows direction in comparison to the magnetic poles of the Earth.

An example of a magnetic compass is how ships find their way on the open sea.

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(military, nautical) An instrument containing a freely suspended magnetic element which displays the direction of the horizontal component of the Earth's magnetic field at the point of observation.
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