[buh-nok-yuh-ler, bahy-]
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  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.
  1. involving both eyes: binocular vision.

Origin of binocular

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

Related Words for binocular

binoculars, lorgnette, pince-nez

Examples from the Web for binocular

Historical Examples of binocular

British Dictionary definitions for binocular


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

Word Origin for binocular

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.

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.
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.
  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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.