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

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 The new oculus is lit with orange light, and the corridors are lined with digital screens. Jason Laughlin, Philly.com, "SEPTA shows off new look for City Hall transit center," 19 June 2018 The $10 million work on the oculus and corridors began in earnest about two years ago, said Bob Lund, SEPTA’s assistant general manager of engineering, though before that structural repairs had already been done to repair leaks. Jason Laughlin, Philly.com, "SEPTA shows off new look for City Hall transit center," 19 June 2018 Depending on the season or the time of day, a glass oculus at the ceiling’s 18-foot peak can be opened or closed, regulating the temperature. Leilani Marie Labong, Sunset, "Living in an Eco-Friendly Yurt," 22 Jan. 2018 The aquarium experience ends with a chance to observe sharks and other denizens of the deep through the prism of a 31-foot oculus lens. Patti Nickell, chicagotribune.com, "Don’t hate Miami because it’s beautiful. The city has brains too," 9 Feb. 2018 The state-of-the-art $325 million facility opened in downtown Miami on May 8 and houses a three-story, 500,000-gallon aquarium with a 31-foot wide viewing oculus, a planetarium and other high-tech gallery spaces. Doreen Christensen, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Frightening freebies and deals for Halloween | Doreen's Deals," 27 Oct. 2017

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

29 May 2019

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Time Traveler for oculus

The first known use of oculus was in 1848

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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 oculi (audio) \

Medical Definition of oculus

More from Merriam-Webster on oculus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oculus

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oculus

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