tele·​pho·​to | \ ˌte-lə-ˈfō-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce telephoto (audio) \

Definition of telephoto

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: being a camera lens system designed to give a large image of a distant object also : relating to or being photography in which a telephoto lens is used


plural telephotos

Definition of telephoto (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a telephoto lens
2 : a photograph taken with a camera having a telephoto lens



Definition of Telephoto (Entry 3 of 3)

used for an apparatus for transmitting photographs electrically or for a photograph so transmitted

Examples of telephoto in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Now imagine experiencing even a handful of these things while telephoto lenses are trained on you and millions of strangers are scanning you for signs of the slightest new flaw. Glamour, "Let's Stop Clicking on Stories About Celebrities' Post-Baby Bodies," 6 May 2019 The rear camera system actually includes two distinct cameras: wide-angle and telephoto. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "iPhone XS and XS Max review: Big screens, big performance, big lenses, big prices," 1 Oct. 2018 Many photographers have short zooms which bring them from a 24-millimeter wide-angle to 100mm telephoto. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Super blue blood snow moon eclipse: How to take amazing photographs," 30 Jan. 2018 There are a whopping four cameras on the back (rumored to be a wide-angle lens, a telephoto lens, a main camera, and a depth camera for bokeh effects) and two cameras on the front. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Samsung Galaxy S10 renders feature a big hole in the display," 5 Dec. 2018 The Galaxy Note 9, similar to this year’s Galaxy S9, has impressive dual cameras on the back, a wide-angle and a 2X telephoto, both with optical image stabilization. David Pierce, WSJ, "Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 Is Crazy Powerful. Can You Handle It?," 19 Aug. 2018 What’s Worse: Camera The XR has the same great wide-angle camera as the XS phones, but lacks the second telephoto lens for true optical zoom. Joanna Stern, WSJ, "iPhone XR Review: You Don’t Have to Spend $1,000 for the Best iPhone," 23 Oct. 2018 Its camera has a smaller sensor, but it is also equipped with two-times optical zoom, plus an additional two-times digital zoom, basically giving you the equivalent of a 96mm telephoto lens. Sebastian Modak, Condé Nast Traveler, "DJI's New Mavic 2 Drone Series Revealed," 23 Aug. 2018 The Cameras Most speculations about the second generation iPhone X and new iPhone X Plus say the phones will have two rear-facing cameras (a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens), while the LCD iPhone will come with a single rear-facing camera. Madeline Buxton,, "Everything You Need To Know About The New iPhone Rumors," 5 July 2018

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


1893, in the meaning defined above


1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for telephoto

The first known use of telephoto was in 1893

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