Definition of sextant
: an instrument for measuring angular distances used especially in navigation to observe altitudes of celestial bodies (as in ascertaining latitude and longitude)
Recent Examples of sextant from the Web
The sextant was, however, designed to superimpose a pair of star images, could not be used to photograph objects, and, with a field of view only 1.8° wide, would require a highly skilled operator to spot an LM at all.
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Origin and Etymology of sextant
New Latin sextant-, sextans sixth part of a circle, from Latin, sixth part, from sextus sixth
First Known Use: 1628See Words from the same year
SEXTANT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of sextant for English Language Learners
: an instrument used to determine the position of a ship or airplane by measuring the positions of the stars and sun
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