from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A case that supports and protects a ship's compass, located near the helm.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The wooden housing for a ship's compass, with its corrector magnets and illuminating arrangements; the log and other equipment for measuring the ship's speed is also stowed there.
- n. The instrument cluster on a car or motorcycle.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A case or box placed near the helmsman, containing the compass of a ship, and a light to show it at night.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A framework or case on the deck of a ship, in front of the steersman, and also in various other positions, containing a nautical compass, and fitted with lights by which the compass can be read at night.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a nonmagnetic housing for a ship's compass (usually in front of the helm)
Alteration of Middle English bitakille, from Old Spanish bitácula or from Old Portuguese bitácola, both from Latin habitāculum, habitation, from habitāre, to inhabit.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Earlier bittacle, from French habitacle. Or from Spanish bitacula or Portuguese bitacola, both from Latin habitaculum ("little dwelling place"). Compare Spanish bitácora. (Wiktionary)