opera glass


: a small low-power binocular without prisms for use at the opera or theater
often used in plural

Illustration of opera glass

Illustration of opera glass

Examples of opera glass in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To experience New York’s best people-watching for yourself, buy a Family Circle seat for under fifty dollars and bring opera glasses. The New Yorker, 6 Oct. 2023 Newspaper ads of the day reveal a motley tenant roster that included the Sons of Temperance and an auction house selling odds and ends like seashells, opera glasses and pistols. John Freeman Gill, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2019 Eager to try out daguerrotypy, a photography method that had been invented just two months prior, Cornelius set up a large box camera with a lens fashioned from a pair of opera glasses, according to the Library of Congress. Scottie Andrew and Brian Ries, CNN, 21 June 2019 The black enameled opera glasses were recently acquired by M.S. Rau Antiques, a shop on the French Quarter's Royal Street. Fox News, 28 Sep. 2018 The magenta curtains were elegantly poised as if concertgoers were attending a proper theatrical performance begging to be seen through opera glasses. Heran Mamo, Billboard, 1 June 2018 Also among the Annenberg show’s 440 images is an 1839 self-portrait by Robert Cornelius, who built a camera with a box and lens from a pair of opera glasses to create an early selfie. Steve Appleford, latimes.com, 18 May 2018 Each reached inside their jackets — Key for a pair of opera glasses to hurl at the advancing lawmaker, and Sickles for a Derringer. Robert Mitchell, Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2018 The downside to that basic, spy-in-the-stands technique is that the risk of discovery is high; opera glasses are pretty well-camouflaged at the opera but tend to stick out in the grandstand. Steven Goldman, Slate Magazine, 7 Sep. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'opera glass.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1738, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of opera glass was in 1738

Dictionary Entries Near opera glass

Cite this Entry

“Opera glass.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opera%20glass. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

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