Definition of astrolabe in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈastrəleɪb/


chiefly historical
An instrument used to make astronomical measurements, typically of the altitudes of celestial bodies, and in navigation for calculating latitude, before the development of the sextant.
Example sentences
  • Lavanha also studied instruments used in navigation, constructing astrolabes, quadrants and compasses.
  • Arab craftsmen produced complex astronomical instruments, astrolabes, which helped them plot the positions of the stars and tell the time of day.
  • The construction of astronomical instruments such as the astrolabe was also a speciality of the Arabs.


Late Middle English: from Old French astrelabe, from medieval Latin astrolabium, from Greek astrolabon, neuter of astrolabos 'star-taking'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: astro|labe

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