jacob's-staff

Jacob's staff

noun, plural Jacob's staves.
1.
Astronomy, cross-staff.
2.
Surveying. a pole providing a firm support for a compass or other instrument.

Origin:
1540–50

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Jacob's staff
 
n
a medieval instrument for measuring heights and distances

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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