optics

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plural noun op·tics \ ˈäp-tiks \

Definition of optics

1 :a science that deals with the genesis and propagation of light, the changes that it undergoes and produces, and other phenomena closely associated with it
  • But before we deal with telescopes, you need to understand a little about optics—how light is controlled.
  • —Michael Zeilik et al.
  • Everything we know suggests that [eyeglasses] were invented by chance, and by laymen who were not learned in optics.
  • —Daniel J. Boorstin
2 plural in form but singular in construction :the aspects of an action, policy, or decision (as in politics or business) that relate to public perceptions
  • … when a broken-down bailout recipient like Citigroup tries to pay its top executives gigantic bonuses or to acquire a new private jet, it has failed to reconsider the optics.
  • —Nick Paumgarten
  • Skilling said Baxter "was concerned about the optics of the conflict, but not about the ethics or propriety of the transactions," according to interview memos.
  • —Peter Behr and April Witt
— see also 2optic 2a

First Known Use of optics

1579


OPTICS Defined for English Language Learners

optics

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noun

Definition of optics for English Language Learners

  • : the science that studies light and the way it affects and is affected by other things


OPTICS Defined for Kids

optics

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noun op·tics \ ˈäp-tiks \

Definition of optics for Students

:a science that deals with the nature and properties of light and the changes that it undergoes and produces

Medical Dictionary

optics

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noun plural but singular or plural in construction op·tics \ ˈäp-tiks \

medical Definition of optics

1 :a science that deals with the genesis and propagation of light, the changes that it undergoes and produces, and other phenomena closely associated with it
2 :optical properties


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