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Definition of sextant:

  1. An instrument for measuring angular distances between objects, -- used esp. at sea, for ascertaining the latitude and longitude. It is constructed on the same optical principle as Hadley's quadrant, but usually of metal, with a nicer graduation, telescopic sight, and its arc the sixth, and sometimes the third, part of a circle. See Quadrant.
  2. The constellation Sextans.
  3. The sixth part of a circle.

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