August 27, 2018
Learner's Word of the Day
compass /ˈkʌmpəs/ noun

plural compasses

Learner's definition of COMPASS

1 [count] : a device that is used to find direction by means of a needle that always points north

  • He always carries a compass when he walks in the woods.

  • Guests arrived from all points of the compass. [=directions]

2 [count] : something that helps a person make choices about what is right, effective, etc.

  • His religion is the compass that guides him.

  • Interest rates serve as a compass for determining whether to buy or sell stocks.

  • The character in the movie had no moral compass to tell him that stealing was wrong.

3 a [count] : a tool that consists of two pointed sticks joined at the top and that is used for measuring distances — often plural

  • a pair of compasses [=dividers]

3 b [count] : a tool that consists of a pen or pencil attached to a pointed stick and that is used for drawing circles

4 [noncount] : a specialized area of knowledge, skill, experience, etc. — often used after beyond or within

  • That topic falls beyond the compass [=beyond the scope] of my research.

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