• synonyms


[buh-nok-yuh-ler, bahy-]
See more synonyms for binocular on Thesaurus.com
  1. 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.
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  1. involving both eyes: binocular vision.
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Origin of binocular

First recorded in 1705–15; bin- + ocular
Related formsbin·oc·u·lar·i·ty, nounbin·oc·u·lar·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

binoculars, lorgnette, pince-nez

Examples from the Web for binocular

Historical Examples

  • Considered in relation to the Philosophy of Binocular Vision.

    Notes and Queries, Number 212, November 19, 1853


  • A field glass or a Bausch & Lomb binocular is really a necessity.

    Our Bird Comrades

    Leander S. (Leander Sylvester) Keyser

  • The Captain applied his binocular telescope to his eyes as he spoke.

    The Giant of the North

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • Poole re-focussed the binocular, but it was some moments before he spoke.

    Fitz the Filibuster

    George Manville Fenn

  • It was like seven binocular glasses rolled into one telescope.

    The Pirate City

    R.M. Ballantyne

British Dictionary definitions for binocular


  1. involving, relating to, seeing with or intended for both eyesbinocular vision
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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

Word Origin and History for binocular


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

binocular in Medicine


(bə-nŏkyə-lər, bī-)
  1. Adapted to the use of both eyes. Used of an optical instrument.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

binocular in Science


  1. Relating to or involving both eyes at once, as in binocular vision.
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  1. 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.