lens

noun
\ ˈlenz How to pronounce lens (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Lens (audio) \

Definition of Lens (Entry 3 of 3)

commune in northern France southwest of Lille population 35,032

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from lens

Noun

lensed \ ˈlenzd How to pronounce lensed (audio) \ adjective
lensless \ ˈlenz-​ləs How to pronounce lensless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of lens in a Sentence

Noun

Make sure the lens of the microscope is clean.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But what are all those lenses and sensors actually doing? David Pierce, WSJ, "Galaxy S10 Review: Samsung Finally Gets Everything Right," 3 Mar. 2019 The back of the Nokia 9 sports a unique penta-lens array of cameras, plus a sensor and a flash, arranged in a neat hexagonal pattern. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Nokia 9 PureView hands-on: All of the cameras and none of the gimmicks," 24 Feb. 2019 The lenses apparently block out blue light—which is known to suppress your melatonin levels—thus causing sleeplessness. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Do Sleep Glasses Actually Work?," 5 Feb. 2019 Snapchat first made users fall in love by creating lenses that could turn them into dogs. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Snapchat goes full circle, adds lenses for dogs," 26 Dec. 2018 This song is one of a few holiday tunes our culture is revisiting from a post -MeToo lens. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Miley Cyrus Solved the 'Santa Baby' Debate With Her Own Updated Lyrics," 21 Dec. 2018 Taken with a Nikon D500 and a Tamron 150 X 600mm G2 lens. Colin Diltz, The Seattle Times, "Reader’s Lens | A duck dancing on the water," 28 Nov. 2018 Use fresh lenses as directed instead of trying to extend your contacts’ wear time. Korin Miller, SELF, "8 Contact Lens Rules People With Dry Eyes Should Always Follow," 6 Sep. 2018 The bookish young Kennedy looked up to these charismatic figures, and a happy childhood with friends in the neighborhood offers a particular lens on his jurisprudence. Massimo Calabresi, Time, "With Justice Kennedy Gone, It's Trump's Court Now," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Working with an obviously low budget, debut helmer Ramsay stages the occasionally gory proceedings cleanly and efficiently, aided by Alexander Alexandrov's impressive widescreen lensing and Chris Westlake's suitably tense musical score. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Midnighters': Film Review," 1 Mar. 2018 Hadid noted that shooting this calendar was much different than her first time appearing in Pirelli's 2015 calendar lensed by Steven Meisel. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gigi Hadid Talks Success and Loneliness for the 2019 Pirelli Calendar," 26 July 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lens

Dictionary Entries near lens

lennow

leno

Le Nôtre

lens

Lens

lensatic compass

lens board

Statistics for lens

Last Updated

10 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lens

The first known use of lens was in 1673

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce lens (audio) \

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 How to pronounce lense (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on lens

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lens

Spanish Central: Translation of lens

Nglish: Translation of lens for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lens for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lens

Comments on lens

What made you want to look up lens? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!