from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A large magnetic compass used aboard ships, consisting of a compass card suspended in a gimbal-mounted bowl.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A compass (navigational instrument)
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. See under Compass.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. compass in the form of a card that rotates so that 0 degrees or North points to magnetic north
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The invention of the mariner's compass coupled with improvements in ship building and design enabled Portuguese and Spanish navigators to extend knowledge of the world from the margins of Europe to the vast globe itself — now actually confirmed to be a globe — over which the observed laws of nature were found everywhere to be uniform and constant.
Also Alexander Neckham (1150 to about 1227), Abbot of Cirencester, whose "Liber de naturâ rerum" contains the earliest record of the use of the mariner's compass in navigation and a list of remarkable springs, rivers, and lakes.