Magnetic compass



  • A magnetic or electronic device used to determine the cardinal directions (usually magnetic or true north).
  • A pair of compasses (a device used to draw an arc or circle).
  • The range of notes of a musical instrument or voice.
  • A space within limits; an area.
  • An enclosing limit; a boundary, a circumference.
  • Moderate bounds, limits of truth; moderation; due limits; used with within.
  • Scope.
  • Range, reach.
  • A passing round; circuit; circuitous course.



  • In a circuit; round about.


Similar words

Narrower meaning words


  • From Middle English compas ("a circle, circuit, limit, form, a mathematical instrument"), from Old French compas, from Medieval Latin compassus ("a circle, a circuit"), from Latin com- ("together") + passus; see pass, pace.
  • From Middle English compassen ("to go around, make a circuit, draw a circle, contrive, intend"), from Old French compasser; from the noun; see compass as a noun.

Modern English dictionary

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