Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

optics

[op-tiks]
See more synonyms for optics on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. (used with a singular verb) the branch of physical science that deals with the properties and phenomena of both visible and invisible light and with vision.
  2. (used with a plural verb) the way a situation, action, event, etc., is perceived by the public or by a particular group of people: The optics on this issue are pretty good for the Democrats. Administrators worry about the bad optics of hiring new staff during a budget crisis.
Show More

Origin of optics

1605–15; < Medieval Latin optica < Greek optiká, noun use of neuter plural of optikós; see optic, -ics

optic

[op-tik]
adjective
  1. of or relating to the eye or sight.
  2. optical.
Show More
noun
  1. the eye.
  2. a lens of an optical instrument.
Show More

Origin of optic

1535–45; < Medieval Latin opticus < Greek optikós, equivalent to opt(ós) seen (verbid of ópsesthai to see) + -ikos -ic
Related formsin·ter·op·tic, adjectivenon·op·tic, adjectivepost·op·tic, adjectivepre·op·tic, adjectivesub·op·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

eyesight, perception, view, glass, seeing, sight, faculty, eyes, optics, spectacles, contact, optic, monocle, meniscus, ocular, blinder, lamp, headlight, oculus, peeper

Examples from the Web for optics

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Besides, optics is God's own science—and this was the morning light.

    St. Cuthbert's

    Robert E. Knowles

  • The Professor of Astronomy was to teach astronomy, optics, navigation, and cosmography.

    Art in England

    Dutton Cook

  • She fixed her optics for a moment on the crumpled piece of paper, but she saw it not.

    The Silver Lining

    John Roussel

  • Ptolemy's work in optics is a good example of the scientific mind at work.

  • He has a taste for optics also; and knows all about refraction and reflection.


British Dictionary definitions for optics

optics

noun
  1. (functioning as singular) the branch of science concerned with vision and the generation, nature, propagation, and behaviour of electromagnetic light
Show More

optic

adjective
  1. of or relating to the eye or vision
  2. a less common word for optical
Show More
noun
  1. an informal word for eye 1
Show More

Word Origin

C16: from Medieval Latin opticus, from Greek optikos, from optos visible, seen; related to ōps eye

Optic

noun
  1. British trademark a device attached to an inverted bottle for dispensing measured quantities of liquid, such as whisky, gin, etc
Show More
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 optics

n.

"science of sight and light," 1570s, from optic; also see -ics. Used for Medieval Latin optica (neuter plural), from Greek ta optika "optical matters," neuter plural of optikos "optic."

Show More

optic

adj.

early 15c., from Middle French optique, obtique (c.1300) and directly from Medieval Latin opticus "of sight or seeing," from Greek optikos "of or having to do with sight," from optos "seen, visible," from op-, root of opsesthai "be going to see," related to ops "eye," from PIE *okw- "to see" (see eye (n.)).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

optics in Medicine

optics

(ŏptĭks)
n.
  1. The science concerned with the properties of light, its refraction and absorption, and the refracting media of the eye.
Show More

optic

(ŏptĭk)
adj.
  1. Of or relating to the eye or vision.
  2. Of or relating to the science of optics or optical equipment.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

optics in Science

optics

[ŏptĭks]
  1. The scientific study of light and vision. The study of optics led to the development of more general theories of electromagnetic radiation and theories of color.
Show More

optic

[ŏptĭk]
  1. Relating to or involving the eye or vision.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

optics in Culture

optics

The branch of physics dealing with light. (See electromagnetic waves, laser, lens, reflection, and refraction.)

Show More
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.