One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A sighting device on a ship for taking the relative bearings of a distant object.
- ‘Their preparation and composure was further tested when pelorus repeats, gyros, GPS and even their sight were removed from their repertoire of navigational aids.’
- ‘The peloruses and magnetic compass came from the spares box, as did the small signal lights.’
- ‘As the navigator's equivalent of adventurer with a pelorus, she has endeared herself to the ship's company with her prowess on the bridge and her stamina ashore.’
- ‘Conventional peloruses are used to determine a bearing of an object with the knowledge of the vessel's heading.’
Mid 19th century: perhaps from Pelorus, said to be the name of Hannibal's pilot.
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