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 Diesel engines need oxygen to operate, so a diesel sub must either be running on the surface or at periscope level, taking in air through a snorkel, to operate normally. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Japan's Jumbo New Submarine Runs on Lithium-Ion Batteries," 21 Oct. 2020 Even the rim was wiped, in careful delicate circles, with a special tool on the end of a pole that looked like a periscope. Sam Anderson, New York Times, "What I Learned Inside the N.B.A. Bubble," 30 Sep. 2020 An effort was made to rig makeshift sails on a periscope to reach shore before blowing up the vessel, but there was dead calm. CBS News, "Divers think they've found the USS Grenadier, a U.S. submarine lost during WWII," 16 Sep. 2020 To bring the image into the lens, the phone has a prism to reflect light into the lens at an angle, like a submarine's periscope. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Samsung Note20 Ultra review: Why this big phone works for the COVID era," 18 Aug. 2020 Like the zoom in the S20 Ultra, the lens sits down into the body of the phone and sees out into the world like a periscope. Popular Science, "The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G has one of the best screens you can cram in your pocket," 18 Aug. 2020 After the inflatables and before Cadillac Ranch, Ant Farm built a bulbous periscope of a house on the shores of a private Texas lake. Daisy Alioto, Longreads, "House of the Century," 10 Aug. 2020 We were just visited by a very large sea turtle! Surfacing portside with a head like a periscope. New York Times, "‘Sea Wife,’ by Amity Gaige: An Excerpt," 6 May 2020 When a gobbler is within 40 and runs his neck up like a periscope, that’s your shot. Michael Hanback, Outdoor Life, "25 Top Spring Turkey Hunting Tips," 20 Apr. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of periscope

1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for periscope

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for periscope

Time Traveler

The first known use of periscope was in 1879

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Statistics for periscope

Last Updated

1 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Periscope.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for periscope


How to pronounce periscope (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on periscope

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

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