a pair of eyeglasses mounted on a handle.
a pair of opera glasses mounted on a handle.

Origin of lorgnette

1795–1805; < French, derivative of lorgner to eye furtively; see -ette
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lorgnette

Historical Examples of lorgnette

  • Its lorgnette eyes, like those of a lobster, were quite independent of each other.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • In the morning, when I awake, I sit by my window and direct my lorgnette at her balcony.

    A Hero of Our Time

    M. Y. Lermontov

  • Mrs. Evringham put up her lorgnette as she greeted the child.


    Clara Louise Burnham

  • Most of them are fairly hostile to genius or look at it with a lorgnette.

    The Lost Art of Reading

    Gerald Stanley Lee

  • The Calabrian raised what she considered her most deadly weapon, her lorgnette.

British Dictionary definitions for lorgnette



a pair of spectacles or opera glasses mounted on a handle

Word Origin for lorgnette

C19: from French, from lorgner to squint, from Old French lorgne squinting
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 lorgnette

"opera glass with a handle," 1803 (from 1776 as a French word in English), from French lorgnette, from lorgner "to squint," also "to leer at, oogle" (16c.), from lorgne "squinting," of uncertain origin. With diminutive suffix -ette. Cf. also French lorgnon "eyeglass, eyeglasses."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper