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[mon-uh-kuh l] /ˈmɒn ə kəl/
an eyeglass for one eye.
Origin of monocle
1855-60; < French, noun use of adj.: one-eyed < Late Latin monoculus, equivalent to mon- mon- + oculus eye
Related forms
monocled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for monocle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Mr. Bellmer's an overgrown cherub with a monocle," I laughed.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • His monocle was in his eye, and it shone on Kenyon as he entered.

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
  • He had a monocle screwed into one eye which made him look fierce and tough.

  • He had a monocle in his right eye which he kept adjusting nervously.

    Secret Armies John L. Spivak
  • Educated in England, where he acquired his accent and the monocle habit.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb
  • The man with the monocle was smug with the self-satisfaction of his tribe.

    The Highgrader William MacLeod Raine
  • He turned to where Exel stood upon the hearth-rug—toying with his monocle.

    The Yellow Claw Sax Rohmer
  • Exel screwed the monocle into his right eye, and likewise surveyed the detective.

    The Yellow Claw Sax Rohmer
  • He was toying with a cigar, and wore a monocle and a "stovepipe" hat.

    Four Young Explorers Oliver Optic
British Dictionary definitions for monocle


a lens for correcting defective vision of one eye, held in position by the facial muscles
Derived Forms
monocled, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Late Latin monoculus one-eyed, from mono- + 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 monocle

"single eyeglass," 1886, from French monocle, noun use of adjective monocle "one-eyed, blind in one eye" (13c.), from Late Latin monoculus "one-eyed," from Greek monos "single, alone" (see mono-) + Latin oculus "eye" (see eye (n.)).

That this, a hybrid, a Gallicism, and a word with no obvious meaning to the Englishman who hears it for the first time, should have ousted the entirely satisfactory eyeglass is a melancholy illustration of the popular taste in language. [Fowler]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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