• synonyms


verb (used with object), col·li·mat·ed, col·li·mat·ing.
  1. to bring into line; make parallel.
  2. to adjust accurately the line of sight of (a telescope).
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Origin of collimate

1615–25; < Latin collimātus, misreading of collineātus, past participle of collineāre to direct in a straight line, equivalent to col- col-1 + -lineā-, verbal derivative of linea line1 + -tus past participle suffix
Related formscol·li·ma·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for collimation

Historical Examples of collimation

  • Thus the line of collimation of the telescope was placed at right angles to the surface of the mirror.

    Experimental Determination of the Velocity of Light

    Albert A. Michelson

  • The axial center line of the lens, or the line of collimation, is then in adjustment with the level.

  • Was nearly half the day in adjusting the line of collimation in the telescopic sights of my theodolite.

  • The collimation error was found by reversing the instrument and using a terrestrial mark, the azimuth error by star observations.

  • The objective is mounted in the most approved manner and is provided with adjustment for collimation.

British Dictionary definitions for collimation


verb (tr)
  1. to adjust the line of sight of (an optical instrument)
  2. to use a collimator on (a beam of radiation or particles)
  3. to make parallel or bring into line
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Derived Formscollimation, noun

Word Origin for collimate

C17: from New Latin collimāre, erroneously for Latin collīneāre to aim, from com- (intensive) + līneāre, from līnea line
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

collimation in Medicine


  1. The process of restricting and confining an x-ray beam to a given area.
  2. In nuclear medicine, the process of restricting the detection of emitted radiations to a given area of interest.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.