Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. A navigational instrument containing a graduated 60-degree arc, used for measuring the altitudes of celestial bodies for use in determining the latitude and longitude of the observer.
2. Sextant See Sextans.
1. (Navigation) an optical instrument used in navigation and consisting of a telescope through which a sighting of a heavenly body is taken, with protractors for determining its angular distance above the horizon or from another heavenly body
2. (Tools) an optical instrument used in navigation and consisting of a telescope through which a sighting of a heavenly body is taken, with protractors for determining its angular distance above the horizon or from another heavenly body
3. (Mathematics) a sixth part of a circle having an arc which subtends an angle of 60°
[C17: from Latin sextāns one sixth of a unit]
an astronomical instrument used to determine latitude and longitude at sea by measuring angular distances, esp. the altitudes of sun, moon, and stars.
a navigational instrument for determining latitude and longitude by measuring the angles of heavenly bodies in relation to the horizon or other heavenly bodies.See also: Instruments
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||sextant - a unit of angular distance equal to 60 degrees|
circumference - the length of the closed curve of a circle
angular unit - a unit of measurement for angles
|2.||sextant - a measuring instrument for measuring the angular distance between celestial objects; resembles an octant|
astrolabe - an early form of sextant
limb - the graduated arc that is attached to an instrument for measuring angles; "the limb of the sextant"