Found 1 items, similar to Variation compass.
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Definition: Variation compass
(k[u^]m"pas), n. [F. compas, fr. LL.
compassus circle, prop., a stepping together; com- + passus
pace, step. See Pace
1. A passing round; circuit; circuitous course.
They fetched a compass of seven day's journey. --2
Kings iii. 9.
This day I breathed first; time is come round,
And where I did begin, there shall I end;
My life is run his compass. --Shak.
2. An inclosing limit; boundary; circumference; as, within
the compass of an encircling wall.
3. An inclosed space; an area; extent.
Their wisdom . . . lies in a very narrow compass.
4. Extent; reach; sweep; capacity; sphere; as, the compass of
his eye; the compass of imagination.
The compass of his argument. --Wordsworth.
5. Moderate bounds, limits of truth; moderation; due limits;
-- used with within.
In two hundred years before (I speak within
compass), no such commission had been executed.
6. (Mus.) The range of notes, or tones, within the capacity
of a voice or instrument.
You would sound me from my lowest note to the top of
my compass. --Shak.
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
He that first discovered the use of the compass did
more for the supplying and increase of useful
commodities than those who built workhouses.
8. A pair of compasses. [R.] See Compasses.
To fix one foot of their compass wherever they
9. A circle; a continent. [Obs.]
The tryne compas [the threefold world containing
earth, sea, and heaven. --Skeat.] --Chaucer.
. See under Azimuth
. See under Beam
, the circular card attached to the needles of
a mariner's compass, on which are marked the thirty-two
points or rhumbs.
, a small pocket compass fitted with a sundial
to tell the hour of the day.
(Carp.), a plane, convex in the direction of
its length on the under side, for smoothing the concave
faces of curved woodwork.
, Compass flower
(Bot.), a plant of the
American prairies (Silphium laciniatum
), not unlike a
small sunflower; rosinweed. Its lower and root leaves are
vertical, and on the prairies are disposed to present
their edges north and south.
Its leaves are turned to the north as true as the
This is the compass flower. --Longefellow.
, a saw with a narrow blade, which will cut in a
curve; -- called also fret saw
and keyhole saw
(Shipbuilding), curved or crooked timber.
(Arch.), a circular bay window or oriel
, a kind of compass used in navigation. It
has two or more magnetic needles permanently attached to a
card, which moves freely upon a pivot, and is read with
reference to a mark on the box representing the ship's
head. The card is divided into thirty-two points, called
also rhumbs, and the glass-covered box or bowl containing
it is suspended in gimbals within the binnacle, in order
to preserve its horizontal position.
, an instrument used in surveying for
measuring horizontal angles. See Circumferentor
, a compass of delicate construction, used
in observations on the variations of the needle.
To fetch a compass
, to make a circuit.
, n. [OE. variatioun, F. variation, L.
variatio. See Vary
1. The act of varying; a partial change in the form,
position, state, or qualities of a thing; modification;
alternation; mutation; diversity; deviation; as, a
variation of color in different lights; a variation in
size; variation of language.
The essences of things are conceived not capable of
any such variation. --Locke.
2. Extent to which a thing varies; amount of departure from a
position or state; amount or rate of change.
3. (Gram.) Change of termination of words, as in declension,
conjugation, derivation, etc.
4. (Mus.) Repetition of a theme or melody with fanciful
embellishments or modifications, in time, tune, or
harmony, or sometimes change of key; the presentation of a
musical thought in new and varied aspects, yet so that the
essential features of the original shall still preserve
5. (Alg.) One of the different arrangements which can be made
of any number of quantities taking a certain number of
(Astron.), the yearly change in the right
ascension or declination of a star, produced by the
combined effects of the precession of the equinoxes and
the proper motion of the star.
Calculus of variations
. See under Calculus
. See under Compass
Variation of the moon
(Astron.), an inequality of the
moon's motion, depending on the angular distance of the
moon from the sun. It is greater at the octants, and zero
at the quadratures.
Variation of the needle
(Geog. & Naut.), the angle included
between the true and magnetic meridians of a place; the
deviation of the direction of a magnetic needle from the
true north and south line; -- called also declination of the needle
Syn: Change; vicissitude; variety; deviation.