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astrolabe

[as-truh-leyb] /ˈæs trəˌleɪb/
noun
1.
an astronomical instrument for taking the altitude of the sun or stars and for the solution of other problems in astronomy and navigation: used by Greek astronomers from about 200 b.c. and by Arab astronomers from the Middle Ages until superseded by the sextant.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English, variant of astrolabie < Medieval Latin astrolabium < Late Greek astrolábion, Greek astrolábon (neuter of astrolábos, adj. used as noun), equivalent to ástro(n) star + lab- (variant stem of lambánein to take, seize) + -on neuter suffix
Related forms
astrolabical
[as-truh-lab-i-kuh l, -ley-bi-] /ˌæs trəˈlæb ɪ kəl, -ˈleɪ bɪ-/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for astrolabe
  • The exhibition includes a reproduction of a mariner's astrolabe.
  • astrolabe is clearly approaching this as a nuisance lawsuit and hoping to get an out of court settlement.
  • astrolabe was used as an aid to surveying and navigation.
British Dictionary definitions for astrolabe

astrolabe

/ˈæstrəˌleɪb/
noun
1.
an instrument used by early astronomers to measure the altitude of stars and planets and also as a navigational aid. It consists of a graduated circular disc with a movable sighting device Compare sextant
Word Origin
C13: via Old French and Medieval Latin from Greek, from astrolabos (adj), literally: star-taking, from astron star + lambanein to take
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for astrolabe
n.

mid-14c., from Old French astrelabe, from Medieval Latin astrolabium, from Greek astrolabos (organon) "star taking (instrument)," from astron "star" (see astro-) + lambanien "to take" (see analemma).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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astrolabe in Science
astrolabe
  (ās'trə-lāb')   
An ancient instrument used widely in medieval times by navigators and astronomers to determine latitude, longitude, and time of day. The device employed a disk with 360 degrees marked on its circumference. Users took readings from an indicator that pivoted around the center of the suspended device like the hand of a clock. The astrolabe was replaced by the sextant in the 18th century.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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