[of-thal-muh-skohp, op-]


an instrument for viewing the interior of the eye or examining the retina.

Origin of ophthalmoscope

First recorded in 1855–60; ophthalmo- + -scope
Related formsoph·thal·mo·scop·ic [of-thal-muh-skop-ik, op-] /ɒfˌθæl məˈskɒp ɪk, ɒp-/, oph·thal·mo·scop·i·cal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ophthalmoscope

Historical Examples of ophthalmoscope

  • As yet there is no instrument for the ear comparable to the ophthalmoscope.

    Civics and Health

    William H. Allen

  • Ask the shade of the great Helmholtz why he did not patent the ophthalmoscope.

    Craftsmanship in Teaching

    William Chandler Bagley

  • With the advent of the ophthalmoscope, for instance, how innumerable and complicated appear the diseases of the eye.

    The Education of American Girls

    Anna Callender Brackett

  • Rapidly occurring monocular visual disturbances are noticed, whether detected with or without the ophthalmoscope.

  • The ophthalmoscope reminds one of the stethoscope; so simple it is, so perfect and so useful.


    Bradley A. Fiske

British Dictionary definitions for ophthalmoscope



an instrument for examining the interior of the eye
Derived Formsophthalmoscopic (ɒfˌθælməˈskɒpɪk), adjective
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 ophthalmoscope

1857 in English; coined 1852 by German physician and physicist Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (1821–1894) from ophthalmo- + -scope.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ophthalmoscope in Medicine


[ŏf-thălmə-skōp′, ŏp-]


An instrument for examining the interior structures of the eye, especially the retina, consisting essentially of a mirror that reflects light into the eye and a central hole through which the eye is examined.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.