[mon-uh-kuh l]


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 formsmon·o·cled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for monocle

pince-nez, eyeglass, lorgnon

Examples from the Web for monocle

Contemporary Examples of monocle

  • Her work has also appeared in The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Monocle magazine (UK) and The Globe and Mail.

    The Daily Beast logo
    What the Chinese Heard

    Carolynne Wheeler

    November 18, 2009

Historical Examples of monocle

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

  • His monocle was in his eye, and it shone on Kenyon as he entered.

  • He had a monocle screwed into one eye which made him look fierce and tough.

  • He had a monocle in his right eye which he kept adjusting nervously.

    Secret Armies

    John L. Spivak

  • Educated in England, where he acquired his accent and the monocle habit.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb

British Dictionary definitions for monocle



a lens for correcting defective vision of one eye, held in position by the facial muscles
Derived Formsmonocled, adjective

Word Origin for monocle

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

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