pair of compasses

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English[edit]

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beam compass and regular compass

Noun[edit]

pair of compasses (plural pairs of compasses)

  1. A tool used to draw circles, usually consisting of two arms joined at one end in such a way that the arms can be opened and closed; one of the arms is pointed at its free end while the other holds a pencil, pencil lead or some other implement for making marks.

Usage notes[edit]

A carpenter's compass is a standard compass, but is frequently also used to scribe the irregularities of a surface onto something that will be attached to it, for a better fit, by orienting the compass perpendicular to the surface and drawing a line on the complementary piece, and moving it along the interface zone; such as when fitting a countertop to a kitchen's wall.

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