[ kraws-staf, -stahf, kros- ]
/ ˈkrɔsˌstæf, -ˌstɑf, ˈkrɒs- /

noun, plural cross-staffs, cross-staves. Astronomy.

an instrument for measuring the angle of elevation of heavenly bodies, consisting of a calibrated staff with another shorter staff perpendicular to and sliding on it.

Nearby words

  1. cross-resistance,
  2. cross-section,
  3. cross-sectional study,
  4. cross-sell,
  5. cross-slide,
  6. cross-sterile,
  7. cross-stitch,
  8. cross-stratification,
  9. cross-string,
  10. cross-tolerance

Origin of cross-staff

1400–50, for an earlier sense; late Middle English

Also called forestaff, Jacob's staff. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019