op·​tic | \ ˈäp-tik How to pronounce optic (audio) \

Definition of optic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to vision or the eye



Definition of optic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : eye
2a : any of the elements (such as lenses, mirrors, or light guides) of an optical instrument or system usually used in plural
b : an optical instrument

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Synonyms & Antonyms for optic

Synonyms: Adjective

ocular, optical, visual

Antonyms: Adjective


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Examples of optic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In Milan, one showgoer wore red socks with optic white loafers, and in Tbilisi, another fashion fan opted for suede orange loafers. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "The Best Ways to Wear Socks and Loafers," 13 May 2019 Advertising Deputy City Manager Bo Ferguson said Thursday that the permit to do work on a fiber-optic network was held by a subsidiary of communications company Crown Castle. Jonathan Drew, The Seattle Times, "Worker calmly reveals gas leak in 911 call before blast," 12 Apr. 2019 Lieberman styled the cusp-of-the-millenium video and its optic white, techie wardrobe. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Relive All the Best Fashion From Jennifer Lopez’s Iconic Music Videos," 20 Aug. 2018 With playful yet minimal details and sweet silhouettes, these optic dresses will let your accessories shine. Vogue, "These 24 Dresses Are a No-Fuss Solution to Spring Style," 31 Mar. 2019 This set was deep blue with an optic white stripe cutting across the jacket’s chest and down the arms, while the flared silhouette of her track pants lent an elevated touch. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Jennifer Lopez Wears a Tracksuit for Date Night With Alex Rodriguez," 28 Aug. 2018 Meanwhile, Kim and Khloe Kardashian–both sporting short dresses–and their mother Kris Jenner–donning an optic white suit–took a glamorous selfie together. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "The 15 Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week: The Kardashians Take a Festive Selfie, JLo Makes Christmas PJs Glam, and More," 29 Dec. 2018 Such filaments could be made in space and shipped down to Earth to improve fiber-optic performance; the experimental process was an important step for both communications and manufacturing. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "What ISS Taught Us In the Past 20 Years," 20 Nov. 2018 Hadid balanced out all those graphic emblems and made the look her own with two SoCal staples: slouchy jeans and optic white kicks. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Bella Hadid Elevates Rainy-Day Style at Paris Fashion Week," 27 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But no matter what Gov. Ivey decides to do, the optics of the bill at this point are impossible to ignore. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "These Are the 25 Men Who Voted for the Most Restrictive Abortion Ban in America," 15 May 2019 But, then again, Trump’s meeting with Putin might have generated bad optics for reasons beyond geopolitics. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Trump cancels Putin meeting over Ukraine," 29 Nov. 2018 But The Post's Josh Dawsey and Wesley Lowery reported that Trump was unhappy that only 10 to 12 people from the team planned on attending and canceled the event to avoid the bad optics such a small crowd would create. Matt Bonesteel, chicagotribune.com, "As XFL's new commissioner, Andrew Luck's father says players will stand for anthem," 5 June 2018 The Durham Police Department has said a contractor boring along a sidewalk hit the gas line, and permits show that fiber-optic cables were being installed underground. Jonathan Drew, The Seattle Times, "Worker calmly reveals gas leak in 911 call before blast," 12 Apr. 2019 With the robot deployed, the human team can still stay involved in missile firing and control with the fiber-optic data link. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "Tank-killing robot revealed," 22 June 2018 Trump and Kelly demand that their Cabinet secretaries be mindful of political optics and the bad headlines that come with misbehavior. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Trump plans to replace McMaster, maybe others," 15 Mar. 2018 The location is everything for optics and optics is everything for politics. Jessica Meyers, latimes.com, "Ulan Bator? A ship at sea? The logistical nightmare of picking a venue for Trump to meet with Kim Jong Un," 12 Mar. 2018 Tens of thousands of miles of undersea fiber-optic cables were installed, truly making the Web worldwide. Popular Mechanics, "The Death of the Internet," 7 Feb. 2019

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


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for optic


Middle English, from Medieval Latin opticus, from Greek optikos, from opsesthai to be going to see; akin to Greek opsis appearance, ōps eye — more at eye

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Statistics for optic

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for optic

The first known use of optic was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for optic



English Language Learners Definition of optic

technical : of or relating to the eyes


op·​tic | \ ˈäp-tik How to pronounce optic (audio) \

Kids Definition of optic

: of or relating to seeing or the eye the optic nerve


op·​tic | \ ˈäp-tik How to pronounce optic (audio) \

Medical Definition of optic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to vision optic phenomena
b : dependent chiefly on vision for orientation humans are basically optic animals
2a : of or relating to the eye : ocular
b : affecting the eye or an optic structure



Medical Definition of optic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : any of the elements (as lenses, mirrors, or light guides) of an optical instrument or system usually used in plural
2 : an optical instrument

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More from Merriam-Webster on optic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with optic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for optic

Spanish Central: Translation of optic

Nglish: Translation of optic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of optic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on optic

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


using a distributed computer network

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