A magnetic or electronic device used to determine the cardinal directions (usually magnetic or true north).
* John Locke
A pair of compasses (a device used to draw an arc or circle).
* Jonathan Swift
- He that first discovered the use of the compass did more for the supplying and increase of useful commodities than those who built workhouses.
(music) The range of notes of a musical instrument or voice.
- to fix one foot of their compass wherever they please
(obsolete) A space within limits; area.
* 1763 , M. Le Page Du Pratz, History of Louisiana (PG), page 47:
- You would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass .
- 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 .
* 1913 ,
- Their wisdom lies in a very narrow compass .
(obsolete) An enclosing limit; boundary; circumference.
- Clara thought she had never seen him look so small and mean. He was as if trying to get himself into the smallest possible compass .
Moderate bounds, limits of truth; moderation; due limits; used with within .
* Sir J. Davies
- within the compass of an encircling wall
- In two hundred years before (I speak within compass ), no such commission had been executed.
* 1748 , David Hume, Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral , Oxford University Press (1973), section 8:
- the compass of his argument
* 1844 , (Edgar Allan Poe),
- 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.
(obsolete) A passing round; circuit; circuitous course.
* Bible, 2 Kings iii. 9
- How very commonly we hear it remarked that such and such thoughts are beyond the compass of words! I do not believe that any thought, properly so called, is out of the reach of language.
- They fetched a compass of seven days' journey.
- This day I breathed first; time is come round, / And where I did begin, there shall I end; / My life is run his compass .
* (magnetic direction finder) magnetic compass
* (device used to draw circular curves) pair of compasses
* (pair of compasses) beam compass
* beam compass
* bow compass
* compass card
* compass error
* compass needle
* compass plant
* compass point
* compass rose
* compass swing
* magnetic compass
* mariner's compass
* moral compass
* pair of compasses
* radio compass
* telltale compass
(pair of compasses)
* beam compass
To surround; to encircle; to environ; to stretch round.
* 1610 , , by (William Shakespeare), act 5 scene 1
- Now all the blessings
To go about or round entirely; to traverse.
(dated) To accomplish; to reach; to achieve; to obtain.
* 1763 , Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emilius; or, an essay on education , translated by M. Nugent, page 117:
- Of a glad father compass thee about!
* 1816 , Catholicon: or, the Christian Philosopher , volume 3, from July to December 1816, page 56:
- [...] they never find ways sufficient to compass that end.
* 1857 , Gilbert Burnet, Bishop Burnet's History of His Own Time: from the Restoration of King Charles the Second to the Treaty of Peace at Utrecht in the Reign of Queen Anne , page 657:
- [...] to settle the end of our action or disputation; and then to take fit and effectual means to compass that end.
* 1921 November 23, The New Republic , volume 28, number 364, page 2:
- [...] and was an artful flatterer, when that was necessary to compass his end, in which generally he was successful.
(dated) To plot; to scheme (against someone).
* 1600', ''The Arraignment and Judgement of Captain Thomas Lee'', published in '''1809 , by R. Bagshaw, in ''Cobbett's Complete Collection of State Trials , volume 1, page 1403–04:
- The immediate problem is how to compass that end: by the seizure of territory or by the cultivation of the goodwill of the people whose business she seeks.
* 1794' November 1, ''Speech of Mr. Erskine in Behalf of Hardy'', published in '''1884 , by Chauncey Allen Goodrich, in ''Select British Eloquence , page 719:
- That he plotted and compassed to raise Sedition and Rebellion [...]
* 1915 , The Wireless Age , volume 2, page 580:
- But it went beyond it by the loose construction of compassing to depose the King, [...]
- The Bavarian felt a mad wave of desire for her sweep over him. What scheme wouldn't he compass to mould that girl to his wishes.
*: And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
* (surround) encircle, environ, surround
* (go about or around entirely) cover, traverse
* (accomplish) accomplish, achieve, attain, gain, get to, reach
* conspire, plot, scheme
(obsolete) In a circuit; round about.
* 1658 , (w), Urne-Burial , Penguin (2005), ISBN 9780141023915, page 9:
- Near the same plot of ground, for about six yards compasse were digged up coals and incinerated substances,
To form a circle around; to encircle.
To include within its scope; to circumscribe or go round so as to surround; to enclose; to contain.
To include completely; to describe fully or comprehensively.
To go around, especially, to circumnavigate.
- This book on English grammar encompasses all irregular verbs.
- Drake encompassed the globe.