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Compass, subst. 1) circle: “like to the Garter's c., in a ring,” Wiv. V, 5, 70. “my life is run his c.” Caes. V, 3, 25. “a sibyl that had numbered in the world the sun to course two hundred --es,” Oth. III, 4, 71.
2) circular extent: “what c. will you wear your farthingale?” Gentl. II, 7, 51. “thy crown, whose c. is no bigger than thy head,” R2 II, 1, 101. my mind exceeds the c. of her (Fortune's) “wheel,” H6C IV, 3, 47.
3) extent in general, limit: “why should we in the c. of a pale keep law,” R2 III, 4, 40. “lived well and in good c.; and now I live out of all c.” H4A III, 3, 22. H4A III, 3, 22 H4A III, 3, 22 H4A III, 3, 22 “you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my c.” Hml. III, 2, 384 (extent of the voice).
4) reach: though rosy lips and cheeks within his (Time's) “bending sickle's c. come,” Sonn. 116, 10. “draw within the c. of suspect the honour of your wife,” Err. III, 1, 87. “above the reach or c. of thy thought,” H6B I, 2, 46. “nor thou within the c. of my curse,” R3 I, 3, 284. “beyond thought's c.” H8 I, 1, 36. “fall into the c. of a praemunire,” III, 2, 340. “few come within the c. of my curse,” Tit. V, 1, 126. “it strains me past the c. of my wits,” Rom. IV, 1, 47. “within the c. of man's wit,” Oth. III, 4, 21. “is it within reason and c.?” IV, 2, 224. (In Oth. II, 1, 244: for the better c. of his affection; Qq and M. Edd. compassing).
5) the instrument by which mariners steer: “to all points o' the c.” Cor. II, 3, 26.
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