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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for monocle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Perceiving the Candy Wagon at the curb he paused, scrutinising it jauntily, through a monocle formed by a thumb and finger.

    The Little Red Chimney Mary Finley Leonard
  • He was toying with a cigar, and wore a monocle and a "stovepipe" hat.

    Four Young Explorers Oliver Optic
  • He wore a white coat instead of a red one, and squinted at the boys through a monocle.

  • "Mr. Bellmer's an overgrown cherub with a monocle," I laughed.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • The Baron read the note twice, scrutinizing a certain part of it closely with the aid of the monocle which he seldom used.

    Peter Ruff and the Double Four E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • He had a monocle screwed into one eye which made him look fierce and tough.

  • He was in evening dress, and wore a monocle; his manner was frigid and rather pretentious.

    The Lost Child Franois Edouard Joachim Coppe
  • He had a monocle in his right eye which he kept adjusting nervously.

    Secret Armies John L. Spivak
  • His monocle, his "what," and his rich maledictions were admired and imitated all along the Brigade front.

    Tell England Ernest Raymond
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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