telephoto lens

noun Photography.

a lens constructed so as to produce a relatively large image with a focal length shorter than that required by an ordinary lens producing an image of the same size: used to photograph small or distant objects.

Nearby words

  1. telephone tag,
  2. telephonic,
  3. telephonist,
  4. telephony,
  5. telephoto,
  6. telephotograph,
  7. telephotography,
  8. telephotometer,
  9. teleplasm,
  10. teleplay

Origin of telephoto lens

First recorded in 1940–45

Also called telephotographic lens, teleobjective lens. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for telephoto lens

telephoto lens

/ (ˈtɛlɪˌfəʊtəʊ) /


a compound camera lens in which the focal length is greater than that of a simple lens of the same dimensions and thus produces a magnified image of a distant objectSee also zoom lens
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