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[kuhm-puh s] /ˈkʌm pəs/

an instrument for determining directions, as by means of a freely rotating magnetized needle that indicates magnetic north.
the enclosing line or limits of any area; perimeter:
You can find anything you want downtown within the compass of ten square blocks.
space within limits; area; extent; range; scope:
the narrow compass of the strait; the broad compass of the novel.
Also called range. the total range of tones of a voice or of a musical instrument.
due or proper limits; moderate bounds:
Their behavior stayed within the compass of propriety.
a passing round; circuit:
the compass of a year.
Often, compasses. an instrument for drawing or describing circles, measuring distances, etc., consisting generally of two movable, rigid legs hinged to each other at one end (usually used with pair of):
to spread the legs of a compass and draw a larger circle.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy.

curved; forming a curve or arc:
a compass timber; compass roof.
verb (used with object)
to go or move round; make the circuit of:
It would take a week to compass his property on foot.
to extend or stretch around; hem in; surround; encircle:
An old stone wall compasses their property.
to attain or achieve; accomplish; obtain.
to contrive; plot; scheme:
to compass a treacherous plan.
to make curved or circular.
to comprehend; to grasp, as with the mind:
His mind could not compass the extent of the disaster.
an instrument for finding direction, usually having a magnetized needle which points to magnetic north swinging freely on a pivot
(often pl) Also called pair of compasses. an instrument used for drawing circles, measuring distances, etc, that consists of two arms, joined at one end, one arm of which serves as a pivot or stationary reference point, while the other is extended or describes a circle
limits or range: within the compass of education
(music) the interval between the lowest and highest note attainable by a voice or musical instrument
(archaic) a circular course
verb (transitive)
to encircle or surround; hem in
to comprehend or grasp mentally
to achieve; attain; accomplish
(obsolete) to plot

c.1300, “space, area, extent, circumference,” from Old French compas “circle, radius, pair of compasses” (12c.), from compasser “to go around, measure, divide equally,” from Vulgar Latin *compassare “to pace out” (source of Italian compassare, Spanish compasar), from Latin com- “together” (see com-) + passus “a step” (see pace (n.)).

The mathematical instrument so called from mid-14c. The mariners’ directional tool (so called since early 15c.) took the name, perhaps, because it’s round and has a point like the mathematical instrument. The word is in most European languages, with a mathematical sense in Romance, a nautical sense in Germanic, and both in English.

c.1300, “to devise, plan;” early 14c. as “to surround, contain, envelop, enclose;” from Anglo-French cumpasser, from compass (n.). Related: Compassed; compassing.

COMPrehensive ASSembler.
The assembly language on CDC computers.


Read Also:

  • 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. noun 1. a compass in the form of a card that rotates so that […]

  • Compass-course

    noun, Nautical. 1. a course whose bearing is relative to the meridian as given by the navigator’s compass, no compensation being made for variation or deviation.

  • Compass-deviation

    noun 1. (def 4).

  • Compass-deviation-card

    noun 1. a card, sheet, or the like, with two compass roses printed on it concentrically, for recording, on a given voyage, the amount of deviation for which the navigator must compensate in using the ship’s compass to steer a magnetic course.

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