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The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Compasses \Com"pass*es\, n., pl. An instrument for describing circles, measuring figures, etc., consisting of two, or (rarely) more, pointed branches, or legs, usually joined at the top by a rivet on which they move. [1913 Webster] Note: The compasses for drawing circles have adjustable pen points, pencil points, etc.; those used for measuring without adjustable points are generally called dividers. See Dividers. [1913 Webster] Bow compasses. See Bow-compass. Caliber compasses, Caliper compasses. See Calipers. Proportional, Triangular, etc., compasses. See under Proportional, etc. [1913 Webster]