compound eye


Definition of compound eye

: an eye (as of an insect) made up of many separate visual units

Examples of compound eye in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Turned skyward and concave in a supportive cobweb of carbon fiber called a backplane, the mirror looks like the giant, unblinking compound eye of an insect. Lee Billings, Scientific American, 30 Jan. 2016 What at first appears to be a single organ, like an insect’s compound eye, turns out, upon Zoom inspection, to be many. New York Times, 6 Dec. 2020 In this kind of compound eye, each ommatidium has to be encased in something that blocks light in order to isolate it from the neighboring ommatidia, keeping each unit distinct. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, 15 Aug. 2020 This type is called an apposition compound eye, meaning each lens acts independently to create a mosaic image of what a creature sees. Riley Black, Scientific American, 13 Aug. 2020 The compound eye system works when each facet is isolated from the other by walls, which has been seen in other trilobites. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 13 Aug. 2020 Horseshoe crabs also have 10 eyes—a pair of compound eyes on the front shell and more photo receptors along their tail. National Geographic, 20 Apr. 2020 The creatures share characteristics with their primitive marine relatives, like bulging compound eyes, yet have pointy stingers and claws like their modern counterparts. Katie Camero, WSJ, 16 Jan. 2020 Insects, by contrast, cannot see individual stars: Their compound eyes can’t detect fine detail like single points of light. Fiona Mcmillan, National Geographic, 4 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compound eye.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of compound eye

1836, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for compound eye

Time Traveler

The first known use of compound eye was in 1836

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Cite this Entry

“Compound eye.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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