AskDefine | Define monocular

User Contributed Dictionary



  • a Canada /məˈnɑkjələr/
  • a UK} /mənˈɒk.jə.lə(ɹ)/|/ˈmɒnˌɒk.jə.lə(ɹ)/, /m@n"Qk.j@.l@(r)|/"mQn%Qk.j@.le(r)/


  1. having one eye
    • 1888, Sir Richard Burton, The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night of his sparks alighted upon my eye and destroyed it making me a monocular ape;
  2. related to a monocle
    • 1906, Amelia Barr, The Man Between
      You are not such a foolish woman as to like to be seen with Fred Mostyn, that little monocular snob, after the aristocratic, handsome Basil Stanhope.


  1. a monocle
    • 1906, Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
      The moony monocular set in his eye / Appeared to be scanning the Sweet Bye-and-Bye.

Extensive Definition

A monocular is a modified refracting telescope used to magnify the images of distant objects by passing light through a series of lenses and prisms; the use of prisms results in a lightweight telescope. Volume and weight are less than half those of binoculars, making it easy to carry.
Monoculars, sometimes called telescopes when used in this capacity, are often used by visually impaired people to see distant objects that would normally be undiscernable. For example, they are often used to read text on a chalkboard or projection screen.
Besides their use by the visually impaired, they are also used in hunting, survival and espionage. For these specific tasks smaller monoculars are made that fit inside a regular pocket; they are frequently referred to as "pocket scopes".


See also

monocular in Spanish: Monocular
monocular in Italian: Cannocchiale
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