Definition of compass
- " … persons … who have compassed my destruction … "
- —Charles Dickens
- a lake compassed by mountains
- He compassed a vast estate.
- could not compass the seriousness of the problem
attempting more than his modest abilities could compass
the great age of exploration, when ships of sail compassed the earth
appreciate, apprehend, assimilate, behold, catch, catch on (to), cognize, comprehend, conceive, cotton (to or on to), decipher, decode, dig, discern, get, grasp, intuit, know, make, make out, perceive, recognize, register, savvy, see, seize, sense, tumble (to), twig, understand;
pick up on;
He always carries a compass when he walks in the woods.
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.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compass.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
: a device that is used to find direction by means of a needle that always points north
: something that helps a person make choices about what is right, effective, etc.
: a tool that consists of two pointed sticks joined at the top and that is used for measuring distances
What made you want to look up compass? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Confusing Words—A Quiz