oc·​u·​lus | \ ˈä-kyə-ləs How to pronounce oculus (audio) \
plural oculi\ ˈä-​kyə-​ˌlī How to pronounce oculus (audio) , -​ˌlē \

Definition of oculus

1 : a circular or oval window
2 : a circular opening at the top of a dome

Examples of oculus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the Pantheon, in midwinter, Sophia thrust her hands into the single column of falling snow, a white ghost in the middle of the rotunda swirling down from the dome's central oculus. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Joy of Seeing Rome Anew," 22 Mar. 2021 Even inside that charred interior, you are not cut off: The world enters through that oculus, reminding you it’s there. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "How Can I Avoid Feeling Lonely When All My Friends Are Coupled Up?," 21 Sep. 2020 High overhead, an open hole, or oculus, invited the sky in. Gaia Squarci, Smithsonian Magazine, "The New, Nicer Nero," 18 Sep. 2020 Designers also plan to cut a hole in the cement, brick, and iron ceiling of the ground floor and install a 25-foot-wide glass oculus through which visitors can see the building’s ornate dome far above the first-floor reading room. Michael E. Ruane, BostonGlobe.com, "$10 million gift to help Library of Congress upgrade its Jefferson Building," 13 Feb. 2020 Changi’s website reads like a brochure for an all-inclusive resort: free movies in 24-hour theaters, retro arcade games, light-and-sound shows starring the soaring waterfall spilling from an oculus in a roof. Stephanie Rosenbloom, New York Times, "My 27-Hour Vacation in Singapore’s Changi Airport," 2 Dec. 2019 Light bursts through the main area of the home through windows and an overhead oculus light. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This Quirky Looking Denver Dome House Has an Insane Indoor Pool," 10 May 2019 On the surface, the look is mid-19th century representational: Designer Christine Jones devised an elegantly curved room with a large oculus and gold wall decorations that look like trellised vines. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘La Traviata’ at the Met Review: Marvelous Musicality," 5 Dec. 2018 The oculus, meanwhile, has transformed into a black felt rectangle seemingly tacked to the ceiling. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "This James Turrell Installation Is the Best Meditation Chapel in New York," 5 Aug. 2018

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

1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for oculus

Latin, literally, eye — more at eye

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Statistics for oculus

Last Updated

1 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Oculus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oculus. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for oculus


oc·​u·​lus | \ ˈäk-yə-ləs How to pronounce oculus (audio) \
plural oculi\ -​yə-​ˌlī How to pronounce oculus (audio) \

Medical Definition of oculus

More from Merriam-Webster on oculus

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oculus

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