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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 and Etymology 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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