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sextantmore about sextant


  2  definitions  found 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  Sextant  \Sex"tant\,  n.  [L.  sextans,  -antis,  the  sixth  part  of  an 
  as  fr  sextus  sixth  sex  six  See  {Six}.] 
  1.  (Math.)  The  sixth  part  of  a  circle. 
  2.  An  instrument  for  measuring  angular  distances  between 
  objects,  --  used  esp.  at  sea,  for  ascertaining  the 
  latitude  and  longitude.  It  is  constructed  on  the  same 
  optical  principle  as  Hadley's  quadrant,  but  usually  of 
  metal,  with  a  nicer  graduation,  telescopic  sight,  and  its 
  arc  the  sixth  and  sometimes  the  third  part  of  a  circle. 
  See  {Quadrant}. 
  3.  (Astron.)  The  constellation  Sextans. 
  {Box  sextant},  a  small  sextant  inclosed  in  a  cylindrical  case 
  to  make  it  more  portable. 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
  n  1:  a  unit  of  angular  distance  equal  to  60  degrees 
  2:  an  instrument  for  measuring  the  angular  distance  between 
  celestial  objects;  resembles  an  octant 

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