Definition of beam compass in US English:

beam compass

(also beam compasses)


  • A drawing compass consisting of a horizontal rod or beam connected by sliding sockets to two vertical legs, used for drawing large circles.

    • ‘The types of compasses that are available can be classified as standard compass, compass leads, the beam compasses, and also the highly popular bow compasses.’
    • ‘These types of cutters are commonly known as circle cutters, circle scribers, curved line scribers and beam compasses.’
    • ‘The ACU-ARC Adjustable Ruler takes over where the ordinary compass leaves off, eliminating the need for numerous beam compasses, and assorted railroad & highway curves.’
    • ‘Most art stores and building supply houses sell a carpenter's beam compass that is ideal for laying out this second cutting line.’
    • ‘The beam compass is preferred due to its greater rigidity.’
    • ‘The fine adjustment mechanism on a beam compass makes distance transfers quicker and more precise than with a ruler and pencil alone.’
    • ‘The designer undoubtedly used a set of beam compasses with the distance between the inscribing points advancing by units or half units.’
    • ‘Canivet built various measurement instruments, levels, marine alidades, beam compasses, samplers and so on, but he was important above all for his astronomical instruments, quadrants, sectors, heliometers, transit instruments and equatorial mounting telescopes.’
    • ‘Those with drawing legs are mostly referred to as beam compasses; while for cutting, measuring and other uses, they are called trammels.’
    • ‘Thomas Bradley's book of 1836, Practical Geometry, describes the extant drawing technology: compasses, dividers, hair dividers, triangle compasses, beam compasses, proportional compasses, squared boards, t-square, t-square with movable blades, parallel rules, lines of chords, protractors, pentographs, centrolineads, and illiptographs.’
    • ‘Not only is there a small but significant difference in the radii (the arc we described with the beam compass is a smaller radius on the inside of the desk than the outside), but I have changed both of the curves into slight ellipses, with a slight ‘tightening’ at the ends of each arc to give them a tension that adds immeasurably to the visual interest.’
    • ‘The radius of circle or arc you can make with this beam compass set is limited only by the ledge you have at hand.’
    • ‘Door prizes were contributed by Grammercy Company (2 beam compasses) and Post Company (6, Tru-Up T-squares).’
    • ‘Mantua's machines were operated twenty-four hours a day by three shifts of workers to turn out stainless steel scale map-reading rules and protractors for the Army and Navy and beam compasses for the Army Air Corps.’
    • ‘The beam compass allows you to create circles with a larger diameter than an ordinary compass.’


beam compass

/bēm ˈkəmpəs/