Definitions of compass

  1. an area in which something acts or operates or has power or control: " the range of a supersonic jet"; " the ambit of municipal legislation"; " within the compass of this article"; " within the scope of an investigation"; " outside the reach of the law"; " in the political orbit of a world power"
  2. get the meaning of something; " Do you comprehend the meaning of this letter?"
  3. travel around, either by plane or ship; " We compassed the earth"
  4. bring about; accomplish; " This writer attempts more than his talents can compass"
  5. navigational instrument for finding directions
  6. drafting instrument used for drawing circles
  7. the limit of capability; " within the compass of education"
  8. A passing round; circuit; circuitous course.
  9. An inclosing limit; boundary; circumference; as, within the compass of an encircling wall.
  10. An inclosed space; an area; extent.
  11. Moderate bounds, limits of truth; moderation; due limits; -- used with within.
  12. The range of notes, or tones, within the capacity of a voice or instrument.
  13. An instrument for determining directions upon the earth's surface by means of a magnetized bar or needle turning freely upon a pivot and pointing in a northerly and southerly direction.
  14. A pair of compasses.
  15. A circle; a continent.
  16. To go about or entirely round; to make the circuit of.
  17. To inclose on all sides; to surround; to encircle; to environ; to invest; to besiege; -- used with about, round, around, and round about.
  18. To reach round; to circumvent; to get within one's power; to obtain; to accomplish.
  19. To curve; to bend into a circular form.
  20. To purpose; to intend; to imagine; to plot.
  21. To encircle; walk around; to accomplish; attain; besiege.
  22. A circle; a circumference; extent; moderate bounds; an instrument used on ships for finding the directions, north, south, east, and west.
  23. A circuit or circle: space: limit: range: an instrument consisting of a magnetized needle, used to steer ships by, etc. - To fetch a COMPASS, to make a circuit, to go round:- pl. COMPASSES, an instrument consisting of two movable legs, for describing circles, etc.
  24. To pass or go round: to surround or inclose: to besiege: to bring about or obtain: to contrive or plot.
  25. Circuit; space; limit; magnetic instrument to indicate the north.
  26. To surround; obtain; plot.
  27. To attain; plan for; comprehend; surround; encompass.
  28. Extent within limits; scope; circuit; a boundary; bounds; due limits.
  29. The range of a voice or instrument.
  30. An instrument for determining directions by the pointing of a magnetic needle northward, as in the mariners compass.
  31. Circuit; space; limit; reach; range; moderate bounds or due limits; an instrument contrived to indicate the magnetic meridian and so ascertain direction, especially in determining and guiding the course of a ship at sea.
  32. To stretch round; to encircle; to surround; to invest; to go or walk round; to obtain; to accomplish; to contrive or plot. To fetch a compass, to make a circuit.
  33. Grasp; reach; space; extent; the limit or boundary of anything- applied to anything that can be measured or limited; a circuit; a circumference; the magnetic needle or mariner's compass; a guide; a direction.
  34. A curved bifid structure, part of Aristotle's lantern.

Usage examples for compass

  1. Ignorant of their whereabouts, they could only trust to chance and the compass, unless they should presently come upon Belgians whom they might ask to direct them. – A Hero of Liége by Herbert Strang
  2. You had best get the compass up; I can't make out the point sometimes through the mist." – A Chapter of Adventures by G. A. Henty
  3. The American calmly examined the compass, as did the boys. – The Blind Lion of the Congo by Elliott Whitney
  4. This fire in its progress met with a lake of four miles in compass; and it was not only satisfied to fill it up, though it was four fathom deep, but hath made of it a mountain. – Observations on Mount Vesuvius, Mount Etna, and Other Volcanos by William Hamilton
  5. They could no longer leave their home, their father being helpless and Branwell worse than helpless; yet, with ever- increasing expenses and no earnings, bare living was difficult to compass. – Emily Brontë by A. Mary F. (Agnes Mary Frances) Robinson
  6. As I told Miss Gertrude, I would have done a much worse thing to compass the same end. – A Romance in Transit by Francis Lynde
  7. Smith was captured once by the Indians, and, instead of telling them that he was by birth a gent, he gave them a course of lectures on the use of the compass and how to learn where one is at. – Comic History of the United States by Bill Nye
  8. Rick set a compass course for St. Thomas, flying just under the clouds. – The Wailing Octopus by Harold Leland Goodwin
  9. From time to time he consulted the compass on the board before him, and changed his course ever so slightly. – The Clue of the Twisted Candle by Edgar Wallace
  10. The ships were crowded together in so small a compass, that scarcely one weapon fell into the sea without taking effect. – The History of Rome; Books Nine to Twenty-Six by Titus Livius
  11. That which may be put into a smaller compass. – The Wonder Island Boys: Exploring the Island by Roger Thompson Finlay
  12. I stood pledged to Miss Rossano to rescue her father from that horrible long- drawn imprisonment if the courage, or the wit, of man could compass it; and I meant, with all my heart and soul, to keep my word. – In Direst Peril by David Christie Murray
  13. He opened the carpet- bag, and drew forth a ship's compass, which he consulted. – The Wheel O' Fortune by Louis Tracy
  14. He looked at his compass. – Cat and Mouse by Ralph Williams
  15. " Miss Holland came up to the islands as your governess, I understand," I said in as matter- of- fact tone as I could compass. – The Spy in Black by J. Storer Clouston
  16. Now the compass in actual fact does not always and everywhere point due north. – The Dawn of Canadian History: A Chronicle of Aboriginal Canada by Stephen Leacock
  17. He glanced at the compass. – The Captain of the Kansas by Louis Tracy
  18. We'll all go along with him and when he comes to the end of his eight hundred and eighty yards why all there is for us to do is to stop and change the direction according to the compass and start out again. – The Go Ahead Boys and Simon's Mine by Ross Kay
  19. I would engage to travel as straight as the best Indian of them all, by looking at my compass once in half an hour. – Satanstoe by James Fenimore Cooper
  20. Keeping his direction with the aid of his compass, Carnes led the way forward, counting his steps. – The Great Drought by Sterner St. Paul Meek