compass

[ kuhm-puh s ]
/ ˈkʌm pəs /

noun

adjective

curved; forming a curve or arc: a compass timber; compass roof.

verb (used with object)

Origin of compass

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English compassen < Old French compasser to measure < Vulgar Latin *compāssāre, equivalent to compāss(us) equal step (Latin com- com- + pāssus pace1) + -āre v. suffix; (noun) Middle English compas < Old French, derivative of compasser
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for compass

British Dictionary definitions for compass

compass

/ (ˈkʌmpəs) /

noun

verb (tr)

Derived Formscompassable, adjective

Word Origin for compass

C13: from Old French compas, from compasser to measure, from Vulgar Latin compassāre (unattested) to pace out, ultimately from Latin passus step
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 compass

compass

[ kŭmpəs ]

A device used to determine geographical direction, usually consisting of a magnetic needle mounted on a pivot, aligning itself naturally with the Earth's magnetic field so that it points to the Earth's geomagnetic north or south pole.
A device used for drawing circles and arcs and for measuring distances on maps, consisting of two legs hinged together at one end.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.