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Definition of Compass


  1. A passing round; circuit; circuitous course.
  2. An inclosing limit; boundary; circumference; as, within the compass of an encircling wall.
  3. An inclosed space; an area; extent.
  4. Extent; reach; sweep; capacity; sphere; as, the compass of his eye; the compass of imagination.
  5. Moderate bounds, limits of truth; moderation; due limits; -- used with within.
  6. The range of notes, or tones, within the capacity of a voice or instrument.
  7. 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.
  8. A pair of compasses.
  9. A circle; a continent.
  10. To go about or entirely round; to make the circuit of.
  11. To inclose on all sides; to surround; to encircle; to environ; to invest; to besiege; -- used with about, round, around, and round about.
  12. To reach round; to circumvent; to get within one's power; to obtain; to accomplish.
  13. To curve; to bend into a circular form.
  14. To purpose; to intend; to imagine; to plot.

Compass Quotations

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.
Saint Augustine

Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.
Brad Henry

Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also.
Marcus Aurelius

He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast.
Leonardo da Vinci

History is not everything, but it is a starting point. History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is a compass they use to find themselves on the map of human geography. It tells them where they are but, more importantly, what they must be.
John Henrik Clarke
More "Compass" Quotations

Compass Translations

compass in Danish is kompas
compass in Dutch is kompas
compass in Finnish is kompassi
compass in French is compas, boussole
compass in Norwegian is kompass
compass in Swedish is kompass
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