- com|pass [ˈkʌmpəs] n[Date: 1300-1400; : Old French; Origin: compas 'measure, circle, compass', from compasser 'to measure', from Vulgar Latin compassare 'to measure by walking', from Latin com- ( COM-) + passus ( PACE1)]1.)an instrument that shows directions and has a needle that always points north▪ a map and compasscompass points/points of the compass(=the marks on a compass that show you north, south, east, west etc)↑point, ↑compass2.) also compassesa V-shaped instrument with one sharp point and a pen or pencil at the other end, used for drawing circles or measuring distances on maps3.) [U] formalthe area or range of subjects that someone is responsible for or that is discussed in a bookcompass of▪ Within the brief compass of a single page, the author covers most of the major points.
Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.