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sextant

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noun sex·tant \ˈseks-tənt\

Simple Definition of sextant

  • : an instrument used to determine the position of a ship or airplane by measuring the positions of the stars and sun

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of sextant

  1. :  an instrument for measuring angular distances used especially in navigation to observe altitudes of celestial bodies (as in ascertaining latitude and longitude)

Illustration of sextant

Origin of sextant

New Latin sextant-, sextans sixth part of a circle, from Latin, sixth part, from sextus sixth


First Known Use: 1628

Other Nautical Terms

Rhymes with sextant


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