nounchiefly • 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.More 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'.
More definitions of astrolabeDefinition of astrolabe in:
- The US English dictionary