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2 definitions found
 for Beam compass
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Compass \Com"pass\ (k[u^]m"pas), n. [F. compas, fr. LL.
     compassus circle, prop., a stepping together; com- + passus
     pace, step. See Pace, Pass.]
     1. A passing round; circuit; circuitous course.
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              They fetched a compass of seven day's journey. --2
                                                    Kings iii. 9.
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              This day I breathed first; time is come round,
              And where I did begin, there shall I end;
              My life is run his compass.           --Shak.
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     2. An inclosing limit; boundary; circumference; as, within
        the compass of an encircling wall.
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     3. An inclosed space; an area; extent.
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              Their wisdom . . . lies in a very narrow compass.
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     4. Extent; reach; sweep; capacity; sphere; as, the compass of
        his eye; the compass of imagination.
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              The compass of his argument.          --Wordsworth.
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     5. Moderate bounds, limits of truth; moderation; due limits;
        -- used with within.
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              In two hundred years before (I speak within
              compass), no such commission had been executed.
                                                    --Sir J.
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     6. (Mus.) The range of notes, or tones, within the capacity
        of a voice or instrument.
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              You would sound me from my lowest note to the top of
              my compass.                           --Shak.
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     7. An instrument for determining directions upon the earth's
        surface by means of a magnetized bar or needle turning
        freely upon a pivot and pointing in a northerly and
        southerly direction.
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              He that first discovered the use of the compass did
              more for the supplying and increase of useful
              commodities than those who built workhouses.
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     8. A pair of compasses. [R.] See Compasses.
              To fix one foot of their compass wherever they
              please.                               --Swift.
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     9. A circle; a continent. [Obs.]
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              The tryne compas [the threefold world containing
              earth, sea, and heaven. --Skeat.]     --Chaucer.
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     Azimuth compass. See under Azimuth.
     Beam compass. See under Beam.
     Compass card, the circular card attached to the needles of
        a mariner's compass, on which are marked the thirty-two
        points or rhumbs.
     Compass dial, a small pocket compass fitted with a sundial
        to tell the hour of the day.
     Compass plane (Carp.), a plane, convex in the direction of
        its length on the under side, for smoothing the concave
        faces of curved woodwork.
     Compass plant, Compass flower (Bot.), a plant of the
        American prairies ({Silphium laciniatum), not unlike a
        small sunflower; rosinweed. Its lower and root leaves are
        vertical, and on the prairies are disposed to present
        their edges north and south.
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              Its leaves are turned to the north as true as the
              This is the compass flower.           --Longefellow.
     Compass saw, a saw with a narrow blade, which will cut in a
        curve; -- called also fret saw and keyhole saw.
     Compass timber (Shipbuilding), curved or crooked timber.
     Compass window (Arch.), a circular bay window or oriel
     Mariner's compass, a kind of compass used in navigation. It
        has two or more magnetic needles permanently attached to a
        card, which moves freely upon a pivot, and is read with
        reference to a mark on the box representing the ship's
        head. The card is divided into thirty-two points, called
        also rhumbs, and the glass-covered box or bowl containing
        it is suspended in gimbals within the binnacle, in order
        to preserve its horizontal position.
     Surveyor's compass, an instrument used in surveying for
        measuring horizontal angles. See Circumferentor.
     Variation compass, a compass of delicate construction, used
        in observations on the variations of the needle.
     To fetch a compass, to make a circuit.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Beam \Beam\ (b[=e]m), n. [AS. be['a]m beam, post, tree, ray of
     light; akin to OFries. b[=a]m tree, OS. b[=o]m, D. boom, OHG.
     boum, poum, G. baum, Icel. ba[eth]mr, Goth. bagms and Gr.
     fy^ma a growth, fy^nai to become, to be. Cf. L. radius staff,
     rod, spoke of a wheel, beam or ray, and G. strahl arrow,
     spoke of a wheel, ray or beam, flash of lightning. [root]97.
     See Be; cf. Boom a spar.]
     1. Any large piece of timber or iron long in proportion to
        its thickness, and prepared for use.
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     2. One of the principal horizontal timbers of a building or
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              The beams of a vessel are strong pieces of timber
              stretching across from side to side to support the
              decks.                                --Totten.
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     3. The width of a vessel; as, one vessel is said to have more
        beam than another.
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     4. The bar of a balance, from the ends of which the scales
        are suspended.
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              The doubtful beam long nods from side to side.
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     5. The principal stem or horn of a stag or other deer, which
        bears the antlers, or branches.
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     6. The pole of a carriage. [Poetic] --Dryden.
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     7. A cylinder of wood, making part of a loom, on which
        weavers wind the warp before weaving; also, the cylinder
        on which the cloth is rolled, as it is woven; one being
        called the fore beam, the other the back beam.
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     8. The straight part or shank of an anchor.
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     9. The main part of a plow, to which the handles and colter
        are secured, and to the end of which are attached the oxen
        or horses that draw it.
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     10. (Steam Engine) A heavy iron lever having an oscillating
         motion on a central axis, one end of which is connected
         with the piston rod from which it receives motion, and
         the other with the crank of the wheel shaft; -- called
         also working beam or walking beam.
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     11. A ray or collection of parallel rays emitted from the sun
         or other luminous body; as, a beam of light, or of heat.
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               How far that little candle throws his beams!
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     12. (Fig.): A ray; a gleam; as, a beam of comfort.
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               Mercy with her genial beam.          --Keble.
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     13. One of the long feathers in the wing of a hawk; -- called
         also beam feather.
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     Abaft the beam (Naut.), in an arc of the horizon between a
        line that crosses the ship at right angles, or in the
        direction of her beams, and that point of the compass
        toward which her stern is directed.
     Beam center (Mach.), the fulcrum or pin on which the
        working beam of an engine vibrates.
     Beam compass, an instrument consisting of a rod or beam,
        having sliding sockets that carry steel or pencil points;
        -- used for drawing or describing large circles.
     Beam engine, a steam engine having a working beam to
        transmit power, in distinction from one which has its
        piston rod attached directly to the crank of the wheel
     Before the beam (Naut.), in an arc of the horizon included
        between a line that crosses the ship at right angles and
        that point of the compass toward which the ship steers.
     On the beam, in a line with the beams, or at right angles
        with the keel.
     On the weather beam, on the side of a ship which faces the
     To be on her beam ends, to incline, as a vessel, so much on
        one side that her beams approach a vertical position.
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