reflecting telescope



See under telescope(def 1).

Nearby words

  1. reflationary,
  2. reflect,
  3. reflect on,
  4. reflectance,
  5. reflected plan,
  6. reflection,
  7. reflection coefficient,
  8. reflection density,
  9. reflection nebula,
  10. reflection plane

Origin of reflecting telescope

First recorded in 1695–1705

Also called reflector.

Origin of telescope

1610–20; tele-1 + -scope; replacing telescopium (< New Latin; see -ium) and telescopio (< It)

Related formsnon·tel·e·scop·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reflecting telescope

British Dictionary definitions for reflecting telescope

reflecting telescope


a type of telescope in which the initial image is formed by a concave mirrorAlso called: reflector Compare refracting telescope


/ (ˈtɛlɪˌskəʊp) /


an optical instrument for making distant objects appear larger and brighter by use of a combination of lenses (refracting telescope) or lenses and curved mirrors (reflecting telescope)See also terrestrial telescope, astronomical telescope, Cassegrain telescope, Galilean telescope, Newtonian telescope
any instrument, such as a radio telescope, for collecting, focusing, and detecting electromagnetic radiation from space


to crush together or be crushed together, as in a collisionthe front of the car was telescoped by the impact
to fit together like a set of cylinders that slide into one another, thus allowing extension and shortening
to make or become smaller or shorterthe novel was telescoped into a short play

Word Origin for telescope

C17: from Italian telescopio or New Latin telescopium, literally: far-seeing instrument; see tele-, -scope

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 reflecting telescope
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for reflecting telescope

reflecting telescope

[ rĭ-flĕktĭng ]

See under telescope.


[ tĕlĭ-skōp′ ]

An arrangement of lenses, mirrors, or both that collects visible light, allowing direct observation or photographic recording of distant objects.♦ A refracting telescope uses lenses to focus light to produce a magnified image. Compound lenses are used to avoid distortions such as spherical and chromatic aberrations.♦ A reflecting telescope uses mirrors to view celestial objects at high levels of magnification. Most large optical telescopes are reflecting telescopes because very large mirrors, which are necessary to maximize the amount of light received by the telescope, are easier to build than very large lenses.
Any of various devices, such as a radio telescope, used to detect and observe distant objects by collecting radiation other than visible light.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for reflecting telescope


A device used by astronomers to magnify images or collect more light from distant objects by gathering and concentrating radiation. The most familiar kind of telescope is the optical telescope, which collects radiation in the form of visible light. It may work by reflection, with a bowl-shaped mirror at its base, or by refraction, with a system of lenses. Other kinds of telescopes collect other kinds of radiation; there are radio telescopes (which collect radio waves), x-ray telescopes, and infrared telescopes. Radio and optical telescopes may be situated on the Earth, since the Earth's atmosphere allows light and radio waves through but absorbs radiation from several other regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. X-ray telescopes are placed in space.

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.