Compass vs. Divider: What's the Difference?
A compass is a navigational instrument for finding direction, while a divider is a tool used in geometry to measure or divide distances.
A "compass" is typically a navigational instrument that includes a magnetized needle showing the direction of the magnetic north of a planet's magnetosphere. It is an essential tool for navigators to discern directions and is widely used in various outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, and exploration. The compass has been an indispensable instrument in human history, enabling exploration, discovery, and navigation over land and sea.
In contrast, a "divider" is primarily a drafting instrument consisting of two straight and adjustable legs, hinged at one end. It is used to measure distances or to divide lines into equal parts in geometrical applications. Dividers are essential tools in geometry, drafting, and other fields that require precise measurements and divisions. They enable users to scribe circles or arcs and transfer measurements accurately, aiding in creating detailed and accurate drawings.
A compass, especially the drawing compass, and a divider may appear similar in structure, both having two legs with a hinge at the top, but they serve different purposes. The drawing compass is used to draw circles or arcs in geometry and drafting, similar to a divider but with a distinct difference in one leg having a pencil or a pen.
"Divider," while having its specific use in geometry and drafting, could also have a different meaning in other contexts. For example, it can refer to a partition or a barrier separating spaces or areas. The word "divider" can encompass various objects or structures that serve to divide, separate, or partition spaces or areas in different fields or daily life.
The word "compass" can also be broad and versatile. Beyond navigation and geometry, "compass" could refer to a range or scope of something, like the compass of a voice or a subject. Understanding the context in which "compass" and "divider" are used is crucial for determining their appropriate meanings and applications.
A navigational instrument for finding direction.
A tool used to measure or divide distances.
Used in navigation and geometry.
Primarily used in geometry and drafting.
Typically has a magnetized needle or a pencil/pen leg.
Consists of two straight and adjustable legs.
Navigation, geometry, various.
Geometry, drafting, interior design.
Can refer to the range or scope of something.
Can refer to a partition or barrier separating spaces.
Compass and Divider Definitions
A navigational instrument showing direction.
The sailor used a compass to navigate the sea.
A partition separating spaces.
A divider was placed between the kitchen and the living room.
The range or scope of something.
The compass of the investigation expanded.
A tool for dividing lines and measuring distances.
The architect used a divider to transfer measurements.
A device used to determine geographic direction, usually consisting of a magnetic needle or needles horizontally mounted or suspended and free to pivot until aligned with the earth's magnetic field.
A screen or piece of furniture dividing a room.
The open-plan office had dividers for privacy.
Another device, such as a radio compass or a gyrocompass, used for determining geographic direction.
A person or thing that divides.
The controversial law acted as a divider among the citizens.
A V-shaped device for describing circles or circular arcs and for taking measurements, consisting of a pair of rigid, end-hinged legs, one of which is equipped with a pen, pencil, or other marker and the other with a sharp point providing a pivot about which the drawing leg is turned. Also called pair of compasses.
One that divides, especially a screen or other partition.
Awareness or understanding of one's purpose or objectives
"Lacking a coherent intellectual and moral commitment, [he] was forced to find his compass in personal experience" (Doris Kearns Goodwin).
Chiefly British A highway median strip.
An enclosing line or boundary; a circumference
Outside the compass of the fence.
A device resembling a compass, used for dividing lines and transferring measurements.
A restricted space or area
Four huge crates within the compass of the elevator.
One who or that which divides or separates.
Range or scope, as of understanding, perception, or authority
The subject falls outside the compass of this study.
A physical object for dividing up a space.
(Music) See range.
A piece of card placed in a ring binder to separate groups of documents.
To make a circuit of; circle
The sailboat compassed the island.
An electronic device for separating a signal, frequency, etc., into two or more parts.
To surround; encircle
The trees compass the grave.
A device resembling a drawing compass and used to transfer measurements of length.
To understand; comprehend
"God ... is too great a profundity to be compassed by human cerebration" (Flann O'Brian).
The median (US) or central reservation (UK) of a highway or other road where traffic in opposite directions are kept separated.
To accomplish or bring about
"He compassed his end only by the exercise of gentle violence" (Henry James).
One who, or that which, divides; that which separates anything into parts.
To gain or achieve
"She had compassed the high felicity of seeing the two men beautifully take to each another" (Henry James).
One who deals out to each his share.
Who made me a judge or a divider over you?
To scheme; plot
Compass the death of the king.
One who, or that which, causes division.
Hate is of all things the mightiest divider.
Money, the great divider of the world.
Forming a curve.
An instrument for dividing lines, describing circles, etc., compasses. See Compasses.
A magnetic or electronic device used to determine the cardinal directions (usually magnetic or true north).
A vertical structure that divides or separates (as a wall divides one room from another).
A pair of compasses (a device used to draw an arc or circle).
A taxonomist who classifies organisms into many groups on the basis of relatively minor characteristics
(music) The range of notes of a musical instrument or voice.
A person who separates something into parts or groups
(obsolete) A space within limits; an area.
A vertical structure that divides or separates (as a wall divides one room from another)
(obsolete) An enclosing limit; a boundary, a circumference.
Within the compass of an encircling wall
A roadway barrier.
The car crashed into the central divider.
Moderate bounds, limits of truth; moderation; due limits; used with within.
(obsolete) Range, reach.
(obsolete) A passing round; circuit; circuitous course.
To surround; to encircle; to environ; to stretch round.
To go about or round entirely; to traverse.
(dated) To accomplish; to reach; to achieve; to obtain.
(dated) To plot; to scheme (against someone).
(obsolete) In a circuit; round about.
A passing round; circuit; circuitous course.
They fetched a compass of seven day's journey.
This day I breathed first; time is come round,And where I did begin, there shall I end;My life is run his compass.
An inclosing limit; boundary; circumference; as, within the compass of an encircling wall.
An inclosed space; an area; extent.
Their wisdom . . . lies in a very narrow compass.
Extent; reach; sweep; capacity; sphere; as, the compass of his eye; the compass of imagination.
The compass of his argument.
Moderate bounds, limits of truth; moderation; due limits; - used with within.
In two hundred years before (I speak within compass), no such commission had been executed.
The range of notes, or tones, within the capacity of a voice or instrument.
You would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass.
An instrument for determining directions upon the earth's surface by means of a magnetized bar or needle turning freely upon a pivot and pointing in a northerly and southerly direction.
He that first discovered the use of the compass did more for the supplying and increase of useful commodities than those who built workhouses.
A pair of compasses.
To fix one foot of their compass wherever they please.
A circle; a continent.
The tryne compas [the threefold world containing earth, sea, and heaven. Skeat.]
Its leaves are turned to the north as true as the magnet:This is the compass flower.
To go about or entirely round; to make the circuit of.
Ye shall compass the city seven times.
We the globe can compass soon.
To inclose on all sides; to surround; to encircle; to environ; to invest; to besiege; - used with about, round, around, and round about.
With terrors and with clamors compassed round.
Now all the blessingsOf a glad father compass thee about.
Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round.
To reach round; to circumvent; to get within one's power; to obtain; to accomplish.
If I can check my erring love, I will:If not, to compass her I'll use my skill.
How can you hope to compass your designs?
To curve; to bend into a circular form.
To purpose; to intend; to imagine; to plot.
Compassing and imagining the death of the king are synonymous terms; compassing signifying the purpose or design of the mind or will, and not, as in common speech, the carrying such design to effect.
Navigational instrument for finding directions
An area in which something acts or operates or has power or control:
The range of a supersonic jet
The ambit of municipal legislation
Within the compass of this article
Within the scope of an investigation
Outside the reach of the law
In the political orbit of a world power
The limit of capability;
Within the compass of education
Drafting instrument used for drawing circles
Bring about; accomplish;
This writer attempts more than his talents can compass
Travel around, either by plane or ship;
We compassed the earth
Get the meaning of something;
Do you comprehend the meaning of this letter?
A device used for drawing circles or arcs.
The student used a compass to draw a perfect circle.
An enclosing boundary or area.
They stayed within the compass of the schoolyard.
A means of accomplishing something.
Kindness is a reliable compass in human interactions.
Is a compass always used for navigation?
No, a compass can also be a drawing tool or refer to the range of something.
Can a divider be used as furniture?
Yes, a divider can be a screen or piece of furniture dividing a room.
Does a drawing compass have a similar structure to a divider?
Yes, both have two legs hinged at one end, but serve different purposes.
Can a compass have a pencil or a pen?
Yes, a drawing compass has one leg with a pencil or a pen to draw circles or arcs.
Is a divider always used in geometry or drafting?
No, it can also refer to partitions or barriers in various contexts.
Can divider refer to a mathematical operation?
Yes, division is a mathematical operation, and "divider" can imply something that divides.
Can a compass show the exact geographical North?
No, it shows magnetic North, which is different from true geographical North.
Can a divider have a meaning in roadway terminology?
Yes, it can refer to a barrier or partition in the middle of a road.
Can the word divider refer to an individual?
Yes, it can metaphorically refer to someone causing division among people.
Are compasses always small, handheld devices?
Most are portable, but there are also large, mounted compasses for ships.
Can a divider separate rooms in a house?
Yes, dividers can be used to create distinct spaces within a room.
Do all compasses have a magnetized needle?
No, some, like gyrocompasses and GPS compasses, use other methods to find direction.
Can a compass refer to a musical range?
Yes, it can refer to the range of musical notes a voice or instrument can produce.
Are all dividers adjustable?
Most are, but some fixed dividers are set to specific distances.
Can a compass be used in architectural drawing?
Yes, architects use compasses to draw precise circles and arcs.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited bySumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.