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

Antonyms: Adjective

  • nonvisual
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Examples of optic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In time, their nervous systems began building optic nerves to connect the new eyes to the brain by way of the spinal cord. Matthew Hutson, The New Yorker, "Persuading the Body to Regenerate Its Limbs," 3 May 2021 Starting in 2008, prosecutors say, the Navy entered into an agreement with Maryland Broadband to build out fiber optic cable from Wallops Island to the Patuxent River base. Justin Fenton, baltimoresun.com, "Former CEO of Eastern Shore broadband cooperative indicted for bribery, embezzlement scheme," 9 Apr. 2021 China is constructing a modern-day Silk Road through Asia and into Europe, this one crafted from iron, steel, concrete, glass, fiber optic cable — and foreign debt. Ariel Cohen, Forbes, "China-Iran $400 Billion Accord: A Power Shift Threatens Western Energy," 5 Apr. 2021 Researchers used a laser beam and fiber optic cable to connect the three clocks and compare their measurements. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "New Atomic Clocks May Someday Redefine the Length of a Second," 1 Apr. 2021 Cincinnati Bell will put a high-speed fiber optic cable along every county road. Chris Mayhew, The Enquirer, "Boone County to help fund Cincinnati Bell high-speed internet expansion," 25 Mar. 2021 The telescopes have long strings of light-sensing equipment called optic modules placed underneath ice or water that can detect when a neutrino collides with them. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, "Russian Scientists Sink Giant Deepwater Neutrino Telescope Into World’s Largest Freshwater Lake," 17 Mar. 2021 Those follow earlier agreements, including with Crown Castle for cell tower leases, fiber optic network Zayo for connections, and Qualcomm for 5G radio transmitters. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "How Dish plans to outfox AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile to build the cheapest 5G network," 4 Mar. 2021 The same capital obliterated by telecom failures WorldCom and Global Crossing may have helped spur a lot of excessive investment in fiber optic cable. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, "Taylor: 'Blank-check companies' are the new bubble," 3 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Also built-in: data and fiber optic cables that connect the site to the outside world, including the four performance spaces that call the Music Center home. Los Angeles Times, "Forget Union Station. The Oscars should be held at the Music Center," 30 Mar. 2021 Recently, a friend and I talked about how the last year has forced a reckoning with our appearance through the discernment of a Zoom optic. Taylor Aldridge, ELLE Decor, "What Do Our Rooms Say About Us? The Answers Might Surprise You," 26 Feb. 2021 Using an existing vast network of underwater fiber optic cables, researchers have developed a new method of detecting earthquakes and tsunamis. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, "Cacao without deforestation? Land reform in Brazil bears fruit.," 26 Mar. 2021 The same rail lines could be used to lay fiber-optic cable. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Capitalism and the Border Crisis," 21 Mar. 2021 The move coincides with the company nearing completion of bringing a fiber-optic cable ashore in Tierra del Mar, Oregon. Andrew Selsky, ajc, "Facebook grows in Oregon with data center, fiber-optic cable," 18 Mar. 2021 Neither Harland nor Roeder had a fibre-optic Internet connection. Fred Kaplan, The New Yorker, "The Jazz Pianist Using a Computer Program to Play with Other Musicians in Quarantine," 3 Mar. 2021 There are three main kinds of broadband delivery: DSL, cable and fiber optic. Dave Johnson, Forbes, "Finding The Best Internet Provider In Your Area Is Easier Than You Think," 25 Feb. 2021 Low interest rates continue to drive demand for both second homes and the chance to work remotely in a more rural environment, and many properties on the Bayfield Peninsula proudly tout fiber-optic internet connections. Brooks Johnson, Star Tribune, "South Shore drawing buyers as Duluth-area housing market remains competitive," 17 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for optic

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for optic

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Optic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/optic. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on optic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for optic

Nglish: Translation of optic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of optic for Arabic Speakers

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