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compass (n.)

c. 1300, "space, area, extent, circumference," from Old French compas "circle, radius; size, extent; pair of compasses" (12c.), from compasser "to go around, measure (with a compass); divide equally," from Vulgar Latin *compassare "to pace out," from Latin com "with, together" (see com-) + passus "a step" (from PIE root *pete- "to spread").

The mathematical instrument for describing circles was so called in English from mid-14c. The mariners' directional tool (so called since early 15c.) took the name, perhaps, because it's round and has a point like the mathematical instrument.

Meaning "limits, boundary" is from 1550s. Sense of "range of notes which a given voice or instrument can produce" is from 1590s. 

The word is in most European languages, with a mathematical sense in Romance, a nautical sense in Germanic, and both in English. In Middle English it also could mean "ingenuity, subtlety, cunning." Also an adverb in Middle English: to go compass was "go in a circle, go around."

compass (v.)

c. 1300, "to devise, plan;" early 14c. as "to surround, contain, envelop, enclose;" from Anglo-French cumpasser, Old French compasser "to go around, measure (with a compass), divide equally, calculate; plan" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *compassare "to pace out" (source of Italian compassare, Spanish compasar), from Latin com "with, together" (see com-) + passus "a step" (from PIE root *pete- "to spread"). Related: Compassed; compassing.

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Definitions of compass
1
compass (n.)
navigational instrument for finding directions;
compass (n.)
an area in which something acts or operates or has power or control: "the range of a supersonic jet";
within the compass of this article
Synonyms: scope / range / reach / orbit / ambit
compass (n.)
the limit of capability;
within the compass of education
Synonyms: range / reach / grasp
compass (n.)
drafting instrument used for drawing circles;
2
compass (v.)
bring about; accomplish;
This writer attempts more than his talents can compass
compass (v.)
travel around, either by plane or ship;
We compassed the earth
Synonyms: circumnavigate
compass (v.)
get the meaning of something;
Synonyms: grok / get the picture / comprehend / savvy / dig / grasp / apprehend
From wordnet.princeton.edu