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 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, "Fabulous fossil preserves eyes of 429-million-year-old trilobite," 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, "A 429-Million-Year-Old Trilobite Had Eyes like Those of Modern Bees," 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, "This 429 million-year-old trilobite eye is similar to those of modern insects," 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, "Atlantic horseshoe crab," 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, "Ancient Scorpion Offers Clues to How Animals Moved From Sea to Land," 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, "From dung beetles to seals, these animals navigate by the stars," 4 Nov. 2019 For both dragonflies and damselflies, look for long, segmented bodies and large compound eyes. John Benson,, "Thief steals wire from home under construction: Seven Hills Police Blotter," 12 Apr. 2018 But that is only part of an uncanny, total focus, which cannot be experienced in real life (except perhaps by insects with compound eyes). Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Viewing Europe’s Houses of Worship in Wild Detail," 4 Apr. 2018

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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The first known use of compound eye was in 1836

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Cite this Entry

“Compound eye.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

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