any of several types of compasses having the legs joined by a bow-shaped piece.
Origin of bow compass
First recorded in 1790–1800
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
a compass for drawing, in which the legs are joined by a flexible metal bow-shaped spring rather than a hinge, the angle being adjusted by a screwAlso called: bow-spring compass
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