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[buh-nok-yuh-ler, bahy-] /bəˈnɒk yə lər, baɪ-/
Usually, binoculars. Also called pair of binoculars, prism binoculars. an optical device, providing good depth effect, for use with both eyes, consisting of two small telescopes fitted together side by side, each telescope having two prisms between the eyepiece and objective for erecting the image.
involving both eyes:
binocular vision.
Origin of binocular
First recorded in 1705-15; bin- + ocular
Related forms
binocularity, noun
binocularly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for binoculars
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As it was too small for his naked eyes, he resorted to the binoculars once more.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • The American turned his binoculars obediently and scanned the west and north.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • Next he showed them a pair of binoculars, teaching them how to look through them.

    The Hohokam Dig Theodore Pratt
  • In their places, suddenly, there were the thermos and the binoculars.

    The Hohokam Dig Theodore Pratt
  • Then he took up the binoculars from the roof of the deckhouse.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for binoculars


/bɪˈnɒkjʊləz; baɪ-/
plural noun
an optical instrument for use with both eyes, consisting of two small telescopes joined together Also called field glasses


/bɪˈnɒkjʊlə; baɪ-/
involving, relating to, seeing with or intended for both eyes: binocular vision
Word Origin
C18: from bi-1 + Latin oculus 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 binoculars

1866; see binocular. Earlier binocle (1690s).



1738, "involving both eyes," earlier "having two eyes" (1713), from French binoculaire, from Latin bini "two by two, twofold, two apiece" (see binary) + ocularis "of the eye," from oculus "eye" (see eye (n.)). The double-tubed telescopic instrument (1871, short for binocular glass) earlier was called a binocle. Related: Binocularity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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binoculars in Medicine

binocular bin·oc·u·lar (bə-nŏk'yə-lər, bī-)
Adapted to the use of both eyes. Used of an optical instrument.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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binoculars in Science

Adjective  Relating to or involving both eyes at once, as in binocular vision.

Noun  An optical device, such as a pair of field glasses, consisting of two small telescopes, designed for use by both eyes at once. Often used in the plural as binoculars.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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