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[uh-stig-muh-tiz-uh m] /əˈstɪg məˌtɪz əm/
Also called astigmia
[uh-stig-mee-uh] /əˈstɪg mi ə/ (Show IPA)
. Ophthalmology. a refractive error of the eye in which parallel rays of light from an external source do not converge on a single focal point on the retina.
Optics. an aberration of a lens or other optical system in which the image of a point is spread out along the axis of the system.
Origin of astigmatism
First recorded in 1840-50; astigmat(ic) + -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for astigmatism
Historical Examples
  • If you don't just see things as they see them, you're troubled with astigmatism.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • You must see some good oculist about your astigmatism, my dear.

    A Book of Burlesques

    H. L. Mencken
  • To her it was as though her own eyesight were normal, and astigmatism the rule among other people.

    Athalie Robert W. Chambers
  • To such let me explain that I am suffering from astigmatism.

    Humorous Ghost Stories Dorothy Scarborough
  • A diagram similar to Fig. 394 is used as a test for astigmatism.

    Physics Willis Eugene Tower
  • astigmatism produced by the incision is corrected with glasses.

  • There is one other defect of vision that is so common as to call for a word; this is astigmatism.

    Physiology Ernest G. Martin
  • Place the card for astigmatism at the distance marked upon it.

    Degeneracy Eugene S. Talbot
  • One of the most common forms of defective vision is astigmatism.

  • That's no reason for calling in the neighbors to rejoice with him because he has astigmatism.

    The Vision Spendid William MacLeod Raine
British Dictionary definitions for astigmatism


a defect of a lens resulting in the formation of distorted images; caused by the curvature of the lens being different in different planes
faulty vision resulting from defective curvature of the cornea or lens of the eye
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for astigmatism

1849, coined by the Rev. William Whewell (1794-1866), English polymath, from Greek a- "without" (see a- (3)) + stigmatos genitive of stigma "a mark, spot, puncture" (see stick (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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astigmatism in Medicine

astigmatism a·stig·ma·tism (ə-stĭg'mə-tĭz'əm)
A condition in which unequal curvatures along the different meridians in one or more of the refractive surfaces of the eye cause the rays from a light source not to be focused at a single point on the retina. Also called astigmia.

as'tig·mat'ic (ās'tĭg-māt'ĭk) adj. & n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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astigmatism in Science

A visual defect in which the unequal curvature of one or more refractive surfaces of the eye, usually the cornea, prevents light rays from focusing clearly at a single point on the retina, resulting in blurred vision.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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astigmatism in Culture
astigmatism [(uh-stig-muh-tiz-uhm)]

A condition in which the curvature of the cornea of the eye is uneven, causing a blurring of vision. Astigmatism is normally corrected by glasses.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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