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compass

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English

Compasses for drawing and cutting

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
compass

Plural
es

compass (es)
  1. A magnetic or electronic device used to determine the cardinal directions (usually magnetic north).
  2. A pair of compasses (a device used with a pencil to draw an arc or circle on paper).
  3. The range of notes of a musical instrument or voice.
  4. (obsolete) A space within limits; area.
    • 1763, M. Le Page Du Pratz, History of Louisiana (PG), p. 47.
      • In going up the Missisippi [sic], we meet with nothing remarkable before we come to the Detour aux Anglois, the English Reach: in that part the river takes a large compass.
  5. scope
    • 1748. David Hume. Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral. London: Oxford University Press, 1973. § 8.
      There is a truth and falsehood in all propositions on this subject, and a truth and falsehood, which lie not beyond the compass of human understanding.

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

Infinitive
to compass

Third person singular
compass

Simple past
-

Past participle
-

Present participle
es

to compass (third-person singular simple present compass, present participle es, simple past and past participle -)
  1. To surround; to encircle; to environ; to stretch round.
  2. To go about or round entirely; to traverse.
  3. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) To accomplish; to reach; to achieve; to obtain.
  4. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) To plot; to scheme (against someone).

Quotations

Synonyms

Translations

Adverb

compass (comparative {{{1}}}, superlative {{{2}}})

Positive
compass

Comparative
{{{1}}}

Superlative
{{{2}}}

  1. (obsolete) In a circuit; round about.
    • 1658, Near the same plot of ground, for about six yards compasse were digged up coals and incinerated substances — Sir Thomas Browne, Urne-Burial (Penguin 2005, p. 9)

References

  • "compass" at The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911.

compass” in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.

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