Definition of octant in English:

octant

Line breaks: oc¦tant
Pronunciation: /ˈɒkt(ə)nt
 
/

noun

  • 1An arc of a circle equal to one eighth of its circumference, or the area enclosed by such an arc with two radii of the circle.
    More example sentences
    • Included in those downloads are the last two octants needed to complete the color, 360-degree ‘mission success' panorama.
    • The arc was extended from an octant to a sextant and a stout handle was added at the back of the instrument.
  • 1.1Each of eight parts into which a space or solid body is divided by three planes which intersect (especially at right angles) at a single point.
    More example sentences
    • At the octant (eight-cell) stage the embryo proper and suspensor are clearly distinct.
    • The model put forward for the action of BDL suggests that auxin is involved in determining hypophyseal cell fate at the octant stage.
  • 1.2An obsolete instrument in the form of a graduated eighth of a circle, used in astronomy and navigation.
    More example sentences
    • Instead of compasses, octants, and two-pole chains, modern digital GPS units determine position and direction.
    • Clark used celestial observation to determine latitude, triangulating position with an octant.

Origin

late 17th century: from Latin octans, octant- 'half-quadrant', from octo 'eight'.

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