Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR COMPASS

But, nerved as he was by desperation, he found the task greater than he could compass.

The rock is very magnetic, and the compass is quite useless.

I was tired of trying to steer a course for myself, with no compass to go by.

This fact is sustained by evidences teeming upon us from every point of the compass.

We were without a compass, and steered by the direction of the wind and sea.

And what the word means, in its full horror, only a child can compass.

Thus the Barnacles were all over the world, in every direction—despatch-boxing the compass.

I knew it was something connected with a point of the compass and a door.

Once or twice he consulted Uncle Ben, and as often glanced at his compass.

Can he compass his spirit with meekness, and strangle a natural oath?

WORD ORIGIN

c.1300, "space, area, extent, circumference," from Old French compas "circle, radius, pair of compasses" (12c.), from compasser "to go around, measure, divide equally," from Vulgar Latin *compassare "to pace out" (source of Italian compassare, Spanish compasar), from Latin com- "together" (see com-) + passus "a step" (see pace (n.)).

The mathematical instrument so called from mid-14c. The mariners' directional tool (so called since early 15c.) took the name, perhaps, because it's round and has a point like the mathematical instrument. The word is in most European languages, with a mathematical sense in Romance, a nautical sense in Germanic, and both in English.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR COMPASS

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.