The compass and the straightedge are the two fundamental tools of geometric construction. The straightedge is merely a straight edge for drawing straight lines, that enables the geometer to connect two points or extend an existing line. In particular, it has been proven that it is impossible to square the circle or trisect an angle with only a compass and a straightedge.

Straight"edge` (?), n.

A board, or piece of wood or metal, having one edge perfectly straight, -- used to ascertain whether a line is straight or a surface even, and for drawing straight lines.

 

© Webster 1913.

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