lens

noun
\ˈlenz \

Definition of lens 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a piece of transparent material (such as glass) that has two opposite regular surfaces either both curved or one curved and the other plane and that is used either singly or combined in an optical instrument for forming an image by focusing rays of light

b : a combination of two or more simple lenses

c : a piece of glass or plastic used (as in safety goggles or sunglasses) to protect the eye

2 : a device for directing or focusing radiation other than light (such as sound waves, radio microwaves, or electrons)

3 : something shaped like a biconvex optical lens lens of sandstone

4 : a highly transparent biconvex lens-shaped or nearly spherical body in the eye that focuses light rays (as upon the retina) — see eye illustration

5 : something that facilitates and influences perception, comprehension, or evaluation viewing the current legal battle … through partisan lensesNew Republic

lens

verb
lensed; lensing; lenses

Definition of lens (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make a motion picture of : film

Lens

geographical name
\ˈläⁿs \

Definition of Lens (Entry 3 of 3)

commune in northern France southwest of Lille population 35,032

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Other Words from lens

Noun

lensed \ˈlenzd \ adjective
lensless \ˈlenz-ləs \ adjective

Examples of lens in a Sentence

Noun

Make sure the lens of the microscope is clean.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And while Iraq and Lebanon are often compared for their ethnic and sectarian power-sharing agreements, these elections also show that ideology is the wrong lens through which to understand political nuance. Renad Mansour, Washington Post, "An emerging populism is sweeping the Middle East," 11 July 2018 In some cases, even washing one’s hands with tap water and failing to dry them properly can transmit the microorganism — which, says Haberman, is all the more reason to consider daily disposable lenses. Katie Heaney, The Cut, "Are My Contacts Going to Make Me Go Blind?," 11 July 2018 These lenses give wearers freedom of expression and comfortable vision day and night. Kaitlyn Frey, PEOPLE.com, "Christian Siriano Owns 'Maybe 20 Pairs' of Glasses, But Always Wears the Same Ones Every Day," 11 July 2018 Then, set the aperture on the lens nice and wide — an F-stop of about 1.4 — to let more light hit the camera’s sensor. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "How to capture the eerie nighttime clouds of climate change," 6 July 2018 The film discusses the ongoing Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal rivalry through the lens of the Wimbledon 2008 final, just as the pair enter Wimbledon 2018 as the top two ranked men in the world. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Ted Robinson on the Federer–Nadal Rivalry, 10 Years After the Storied Wimbledon 2008 Final," 28 June 2018 Baltimore's soaring rate of homicides was another lens through which many residents viewed Mosby's re-election bid. Bloomberg.com, "Top Baltimore Prosecutor Mosby Wins Democratic Primary," 27 June 2018 In recent years, however, that lens hasn't worked so well. Sean Savage, Jewish Journal, "Presbyterian Church continues trend of targeting Israel at its General Assembly," 26 June 2018 Such a desire for power appears to be the interpretive lens of many evangelical Christians today. Jonathan L. Walton, Time, "Why Authoritarians Love to Quote This Bible Passage," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Andreas Laszlo Konrath will lens the endeavor, which will star Camille Rowe alongside Carmelo Anthony, photographer Glen Luchford, and tattoo artist Alex McWatt. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince George Cheers on William at Father's Day Polo Match," 16 June 2014 However, what's really caught our eye is the fact that the empowering images lensed by Mayan Toledano show Lourdes unapologetically flaunting her armpit hair. Kristin Corpuz, Teen Vogue, "Lourdes Leon Shows Off Body Hair In New Converse x MadeMe Campaign," 21 May 2018 Richard Avedon lensed her five Vogue covers, in all of which the model is heavily accessorized with big jewelry and, in one case, a silver tinsel wig. Vogue, "Catching Up With Renée Toft Simonsen, “Face of the ’80s” Modeling Contest Winner and 5-Time Vogue Cover Girl," 13 Apr. 2018 The crux of the hunt for the first stars is looking for stars that have been gravitationally lensed. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The James Webb Telescope Could Find the Very First Stars," 25 Apr. 2018 Barton Perreira Carnaby 55 Champagne with Lavender Mirror lenses sunglasses. Melissa Magsaysay, latimes.com, "Make a strong personal statement with these bold sunglasses for spring," 5 Apr. 2018 In February, researchers also announced that lensing helped them find possible signs of planets outside our own galaxy. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Meet Icarus, The Most Distant Star Yet Detected," 3 Apr. 2018 Among the movie’s charms are Diehl’s cheerful and contact-lensed face, and the pleasant mishmash of French, German, and English that the cast speak. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Karl Marx Has a Hangover," 2 Mar. 2018 Under his usual pseudonym Nagao Nakashima, Chung lensed the dramatic parts in crisp, artfully composed black-and-white, while capturing footage as if seen from a dash cam in glowing color. Maggie Lee, chicagotribune.com, "'The Great Buddha +' review: Black comedy that's a digital-era homage to 'Rear Window'," 8 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lens.' 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 lens

Noun

1673, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1942, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lens

Noun

New Latin lent-, lens, from Latin, lentil; from its shape

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Dictionary Entries near lens

lennow

leno

Le Nôtre

lens

Lens

lensatic compass

lens board

Statistics for lens

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lens

The first known use of lens was in 1673

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More Definitions for lens

lens

noun

English Language Learners Definition of lens

: a clear curved piece of glass or plastic that is used in eyeglasses, cameras, telescopes, etc., to make things look clearer, smaller, or bigger

: the clear part of the eye that focuses light to form clear images

lens

noun
\ˈlenz \

Kids Definition of lens

1 : a clear curved piece of material (as glass) used to bend the rays of light to form an image

2 : a clear part of the eye behind the pupil and iris that focuses rays of light on the retina to form clear images

lens

noun
variants: also lense \ˈlenz \

Medical Definition of lens 

1 : a curved piece of glass or plastic used singly or combined in eyeglasses or an optical instrument (as a microscope) for forming an image by focusing rays of light

2 : a device for directing or focusing radiation other than light (as sound waves, radio microwaves, or electrons)

3 : a highly transparent biconvex lens-shaped or nearly spherical body in the eye that focuses light rays entering the eye typically onto the retina, lies immediately behind the pupil, is made up of slender curved rod-shaped ectodermal cells in concentric lamellae surrounded by a tenuous mesoblastic capsule, and alters its focal length by becoming more or less spherical in response to the action of the ciliary muscle on a peripheral suspensory ligament

Other Words from lens

lensed adjective
lensless adjective

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Comments on lens

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