mi·​cro·​scope | \ˈmī-krə-ˌskōp \

Definition of microscope 

1 : an optical instrument consisting of a lens or combination of lenses for making enlarged images of minute objects especially : compound microscope

2 : a non-optical instrument (such as one using radiations other than light or using vibrations) for making enlarged images of minute objects an acoustic microscope

Examples of microscope in a Sentence

Students viewed the crystals through a microscope.

Recent Examples on the Web

Deerinck has learned that when the microscopes can see individual atoms, his small world becomes almost impossibly huge. Ernie Mastroianni, Discover Magazine, "Meet the Man Who Takes Pictures of Microbes," 18 Oct. 2018 The test involves plucking about 50 hairs from the head, typically at the back of the scalp, so your dermatologist can look at them under a microscope and determine how much of the hair is in the resting, growth, and fall-out phases. Jessica Chia, Allure, "The Best Hair Loss Treatments for Every Budget," 15 Oct. 2018 Now, Hector Herrera, both Dos Santos brothers (Jonathan and Giovani), Guillermo Ochoa, Raul Jimenez, Jesus Gallardo and Jesus Corona are under the microscope with only a week left until the start of the World Cup. Juan Pimiento, chicagotribune.com, "Mexico's partying scandal, the Argentina-Israel controversy and the best of the week in soccer," 7 June 2018 The family has lived under a relatively strict code of conduct and the microscope of public interest for generations. refinery29.com, "Why Meghan Markle's Scattered Past Shouldn't Matter," 4 May 2018 McKillop and Aoyama examined the edges of 20 chert blades from the site under a microscope. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Small Mayan saltworks could have supplied thousands, preserved food," 9 Oct. 2018 Microscopic hematuria is blood in your pee that’s only visible under a microscope. Korin Miller, SELF, "10 Things That Can Cause Blood in Your Urine," 19 Sep. 2018 Each side has half of the New Testament printed on it, which was checked over by a scholar who confirmed the entire writing was accurate by reading it with a microscope while comparing it to the 27 books of the New Testament. Kelly Potts, Woman's Day, "Soon, You'll Be Able to Wear the World's Tiniest Bible," 9 Dec. 2014 Also worth putting under a microscope: The group’s pledge to provide $50,000 to $75,000 for landscaping, according to Storlie. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "Evanston plan to demolish Harley Clarke mansion: Public vision or hidden agendas?," 13 July 2018

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

1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for microscope

New Latin microscopium, from micr- + -scopium -scope

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Statistics for microscope

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for microscope

The first known use of microscope was in 1648

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English Language Learners Definition of microscope

: a device used for producing a much larger view of very small objects so that they can be seen clearly


mi·​cro·​scope | \ˈmī-krə-ˌskōp \

Kids Definition of microscope

: an instrument with one or more lenses used to help a person to see something very small by making it appear larger


mi·​cro·​scope | \ˈmī-krə-ˌskōp \

Medical Definition of microscope 

1 : an optical instrument consisting of a lens or combination of lenses for making enlarged images of minute objects especially : compound microscope — see light microscope, phase-contrast microscope, polarizing microscope, reflecting microscope, ultraviolet microscope

2 : an instrument using radiations other than light or using vibrations for making enlarged images of minute objects an acoustic microscope — see electron microscope, scanning electron microscope, x-ray microscope

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More from Merriam-Webster on microscope

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with microscope

Spanish Central: Translation of microscope

Nglish: Translation of microscope for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of microscope for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about microscope

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