cross staves

cross-staff

[kraws-staf, -stahf, kros-]
noun, plural cross-staffs, cross-staves. Astronomy.
an instrument for measuring the angle of elevation of heavenly bodies, consisting of a calibrated staff with another shorter staff perpendicular to and sliding on it.
Also called forestaff, Jacob's staff.


Origin:
1400–50, for an earlier sense; late Middle English

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