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compass card

noun Navigation.
  1. a circular card with magnets attached to its underside, the face divided on its rim into points of the compass, degrees clockwise from north, or both, and floating or suspended from a pivot so as to rotate freely.
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Origin of compass card

First recorded in 1870–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for compass card

Historical Examples

  • A subdivision of the compass-card, equal to 2° 48′ 45″ of the circle.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • The captain stepped to the binnacle, and read the compass-card.

  • He flew mechanically, his head bent down to stare at the compass-card.

  • The compass-card spun round like a teetotum, whirling faster and faster.

  • At last he laid the glasses down, glanced at the compass-card and walked to the cabin skylight which was open.

    The Rescue

    Joseph Conrad


British Dictionary definitions for compass card

compass card

noun
  1. a compass in the form of a card that rotates so that "0°" or "North" points to magnetic north
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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