peri·​scope | \ ˈper-ə-ˌskōp How to pronounce periscope (audio) \

Definition of periscope

: a tubular optical instrument containing lenses and mirrors by which an observer obtains an otherwise obstructed field of view

Illustration of periscope

Illustration of periscope

Examples of periscope in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Here Ocasek, in his usual Roy Orbison-as-beanpole getup, became a visual motif and a special effect, popping up in a woman’s life in the form of a King Kong, a coat hanger, a periscope in sunglasses, a housefly landing on her nose. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, "Ric Ocasek’s Eternal Cool," 16 Sep. 2019 Festivities continue with activities for kids, including a chance to look through a periscope on deck. Greg Burnett,, "USS Cod celebrates 60 years on Cleveland’s lakefront," 17 July 2019 Designed for tiny home company Baumbau, the Bert looks like a periscope peeking through the forest. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Prefab treehouses look like periscopes peeking through the forest," 24 June 2019 Stay Dry Norway’s Under Restaurant: Norway’s new Under restaurant on the craggy Lindesnes coast angles 18 feet below the icy waters of the North Sea like an upended periscope. Karen Carmichael, National Geographic, "Don’t scuba? Here are 10 other underwater thrills," 7 June 2019 The new periscope telephoto camera offers 10x hybrid zoom and up to 50x digital zoom. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Huawei’s P30 Pro goes toe-to-toe with the Samsung Galaxy S10+ on power, price, and photography," 26 Mar. 2019 Other than Oppo, Vivo had a periscope-like pop-up selfie camera on the Nex in 2018, Xiaomi introduced the slider-equipped Mi Mix 3, and Honor also released the notch-killing Magic 2. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "2018 was a weird notch year — what’s next?," 18 Dec. 2018 Designed for reconnaissance and combat behind enemy lines while collecting intelligence, it is loaded up with both serious armor, hard-hitting weapons, advanced optics, three periscopes and much, much more. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "Formidable 'Jaguar' recon vehicle revealed, touts powerful cannon and anti-tank missiles," 18 June 2018 The periscope/camera apparatus was custom-built by Israeli experience designer Saron Paz. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, "Periscope at Pier 27 peeks into Israel, live, from across the world," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'periscope.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of periscope

1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for periscope

International Scientific Vocabulary

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about periscope

Statistics for periscope

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for periscope

The first known use of periscope was in 1879

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for periscope



English Language Learners Definition of periscope

: a long tube that contains lenses and mirrors and that is used to look over or around something and especially by a person in a submarine to see above the surface of the water


peri·​scope | \ ˈper-ə-ˌskōp How to pronounce periscope (audio) \

Kids Definition of periscope

: an instrument containing lenses and mirrors by which a person (as on a submarine) can get a view that would otherwise be blocked

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on periscope

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with periscope

Spanish Central: Translation of periscope

Nglish: Translation of periscope for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about periscope

Comments on periscope

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


fear of the number 13

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!