astrolabe

[ as-truh-leyb ]
/ ˈæs trəˌleɪb /

noun

an astronomical instrument for taking the altitude of the sun or stars and for the solution of other problems in astronomy and navigation: used by Greek astronomers from about 200 b.c. and by Arab astronomers from the Middle Ages until superseded by the sextant.

Origin of astrolabe

1325–75; Middle English, variant of astrolabie < Medieval Latin astrolabium < Late Greek astrolábion, Greek astrolábon (neuter of astrolábos, adj. used as noun), equivalent to ástro(n) star + lab- (variant stem of lambánein to take, seize) + -on neuter suffix

OTHER WORDS FROM astrolabe

as·tro·lab·i·cal [as-truh-lab-i-kuh l, -ley-bi-] /ˌæs trəˈlæb ɪ kəl, -ˈleɪ bɪ-/, adjective
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Examples from the Web for astrolabe

British Dictionary definitions for astrolabe

astrolabe
/ (ˈæstrəˌleɪb) /

noun

an instrument used by early astronomers to measure the altitude of stars and planets and also as a navigational aid. It consists of a graduated circular disc with a movable sighting deviceCompare sextant

Word Origin for astrolabe

C13: via Old French and Medieval Latin from Greek, from astrolabos (adj), literally: star-taking, from astron star + lambanein to take
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Science definitions for astrolabe

astrolabe
[ ăstrə-lāb′ ]

An ancient instrument used widely in medieval times by navigators and astronomers to determine latitude, longitude, and time of day. The device employed a disk with 360 degrees marked on its circumference. Users took readings from an indicator that pivoted around the center of the suspended device like the hand of a clock. The astrolabe was replaced by the sextant in the 18th century.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.