Box–the–compass



Nautical. to boxhaul (often followed by off).
Meteorology. to fly around the center of a storm in a boxlike pattern in order to gather meteorological data:
to box a storm.
box the compass, Nautical. to recite all of the points of the compass in a clockwise order.
noun
a receptacle or container made of wood, cardboard, etc, usually rectangular and having a removable or hinged lid
Also called boxful. the contents of such a receptacle or the amount it can contain: he ate a whole box of chocolates
any of various containers for a specific purpose: a money box, letter box
(often in combination) any of various small cubicles, kiosks, or shelters: a telephone box or callbox, a sentry box, a signal box on a railway
a separate compartment in a public place for a small group of people, as in a theatre or certain restaurants
an enclosure within a courtroom See jury box, witness box
a compartment for a horse in a stable or a vehicle See loosebox, horsebox
(Brit) a small country house occupied by sportsmen when following a field sport, esp shooting

a protective housing for machinery or mechanical parts
the contents of such a box
(in combination): a gearbox

a shaped device of light tough material worn by sportsmen to protect the genitals, esp in cricket
a section of printed matter on a page, enclosed by lines, a border, or white space
a central agency to which mail is addressed and from which it is collected or redistributed: a post-office box, to reply to a box number in a newspaper advertisement
the central part of a computer or the casing enclosing it
short for penalty box
(baseball) either of the designated areas in which the batter may stand
the raised seat on which the driver sits in a horse-drawn coach
(NZ) a wheeled container for transporting coal in a mine
(Austral & NZ) an accidental mixing of herds or flocks
a hole cut into the base of a tree to collect the sap
short for Christmas box
a device for dividing water into two or more ditches in an irrigation system
an informal name for a coffin
(taboo, slang) the female genitals
(NZ) be a box of birds, to be very well indeed
(Brit, informal) the box, television
think outside the box, think out of the box, to think in a different, innovative, or original manner, esp with regard to business practices, products, systems, etc
tick all the boxes, to satisfy all of the apparent requirements for success
(Austral, informal) out of the box, outstanding or excellent: a day out of the box
verb
(transitive) to put into a box
(transitive; usually foll by in or up) to prevent from moving freely; confine
(printing) (transitive) foll by in. to enclose (text) within a ruled frame
(transitive) to make a cut in the base of (a tree) in order to collect the sap
(transitive) (Austral & NZ) to mix (flocks or herds) accidentally
(NZ) (transitive) sometimes foll by up. to confuse: I am all boxed up
(nautical) short for boxhaul
(nautical) box the compass, to name the compass points in order
verb
(transitive) to fight (an opponent) in a boxing match
(intransitive) to engage in boxing
(transitive) to hit (a person) with the fist; punch or cuff
box clever, to behave in a careful and cunning way
noun
a punch with the fist, esp on the ear
noun
a dense slow-growing evergreen tree or shrub of the genus Buxus, esp B. sempervirens, which has small shiny leaves and is used for hedges, borders, and garden mazes: family Buxaceae
the wood of this tree See boxwood (sense 1)
any of several trees the timber or foliage of which resembles this tree, esp various species of Eucalyptus with rough bark
n..
v.

A coffin (1600s+)
A safe; vault; bank vault (1900s+ Underworld)
The vulva; vagina: Her box ain’t no rose blossom (1600s+)
The male genitals, esp as displayed by tight pants; basket (1960s+ Homosexuals)
ny stringed instrument, esp a guitar (1930s+ jazz musicians)
An accordion; groan box (1950s+)
A phonograph (1920s+)
Portable stereo radio; ghetto box: Hey, man, don’t mess with my box/ They were allowed to keep their boxes because their age exempted them from normal court procedures (1970s+)
A very tight and awkward situation; cleft stick; bind: Those guidelines put me in a hell of a box

To die: Oh, she boxed last night (1970s+ Medical)
To kill: Samalson planned to go back Monday morning, but he got boxed (1970s+)

Make a complete turnabout or reversal, as in With a change of ownership, the editorial page boxed the compass politically, now supporting the Senator. Originally this was (and continues to be) a nautical term, meaning “repeat the 32 points of the compass in order.” In the early 1800s it began to be used figuratively.

box office
box score
box the compass

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