1. An instrument, formerly much used for showing the time of day from the shadow of a style or gnomon on a graduated arc or surface; especially, a sundial; but there are lunar and astral dials. The style or gnomon is usually parallel to the earth's axis, but the dial plate may be either horizontal or vertical.
3. A miner's compass.
<zoology> Dial bird, an Indian bird (Copsychus saularius), allied to the European robin. The name is also given to other related species. Dial lock, a lock provided with one or more plates having numbers or letters upon them. These plates must be adjusted in a certain determined way before the lock can be operated. Dial plate, the plane or disk of a dial or timepiece on which lines and figures for indicating the time are placed.
Origin: LL. Dialis daily, fr. L. Dies day. See Deity.
To survey with a dial.
Origin: Dialed or Dialled; Dialing or Dialling.
(01 Mar 1998)
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