telescope

noun, often attributive
tele·​scope | \ ˈte-lə-ˌskōp How to pronounce telescope (audio) \

Definition of telescope

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a usually tubular optical instrument for viewing distant objects by means of the refraction of light rays through a lens or the reflection of light rays by a concave mirror — compare reflector, refractor
2 : any of various tubular magnifying optical instruments

telescope

verb
telescoped; telescoping

Definition of telescope (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to become forced together lengthwise with one part entering another as the result of collision
2 : to slide or pass one within another like the cylindrical sections of a collapsible hand telescope
3 : to become compressed or condensed

transitive verb

1 : to cause to telescope

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Examples of telescope in a Sentence

Noun The rings of Saturn can be seen through a telescope. Verb for dramatic purposes, the film telescopes the years over which the events occurred into a few short months
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Celestron’s speciality is binoculars and telescopes, which makes this dual pen especially appealing to outdoor observers of nature, though it can be used with all optical equipment. Popular Science, "Lens cleaning kits for cameras and binoculars," 6 Feb. 2020 The Moon Passes in Front of Mars In late February, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will line up in the night sky, providing an opportunity to view all three with a pair of binoculars or a telescope, or to simply enjoy the three planets with the naked eye. Jay Bennett, Smithsonian Magazine, "Ten Celestial Events You Don’t Want to Miss in 2020," 14 Jan. 2020 In a relatively light-free area, a pair of binoculars or a small telescope can reveal galaxies, nebulae and other wonders of the universe. Washington Post, "Most Americans hate winter. Here’s what they’re missing.," 7 Jan. 2020 Because binoculars and telescopes limit your field of vision, this shower is best viewed with the naked eye, according to The New York Times. Dallas News, "Dallas-Fort Worth will have optimal viewing conditions for the first major meteor shower of 2020," 3 Jan. 2020 Binoculars or telescopes tend to limit your field of view. BostonGlobe.com, "Watch the Ursids meteor shower 2019 peak in night skies - The Boston Globe," 23 Dec. 2019 Like Spitzer, the Webb telescope was in development while scientists were learning about exoplanets, but it wasn't optimized for them. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "This telescope is our next great detective in the universe," 31 Jan. 2020 The telescope is now likely to launch in 2021 and is expected to cost nearly $10 billion. Howard Bloom, Quartz, "The best way to make a profit as an aerospace company is to fail," 13 Jan. 2020 Officially inaugurated last week, the telescope will be a station within the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), a European radio array centered in the Netherlands. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "This telescope could ‘see’ inside alien worlds for the first time," 9 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But because the frame is made from telescoping trekking pole technology, the whole thing weighs just 5.3 pounds. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Best New Bowhunting Gear from the 2020 Archery Trade Show," 10 Jan. 2020 But the Department of Homeland Security’s mission had increasingly been telescoped into a single, all-encompassing concern. Jason Zengerle, New York Times, "How America Got to ‘Zero Tolerance’ on Immigration: The Inside Story," 16 July 2019 Their toothless mouths telescope out and vacuum up anything from worms to mussels. Washington Post, "Sturgeon are making a comeback in America’s waterways," 11 July 2019 Lift out and pull up on the 29½-by-10-by-6½-inch shelving unit and hook to the top of the bag’s extended telescoping pull handle. Los Angeles Times, "Key to better packing? It’s in the bag," 26 Sep. 2019 The new plane was so long Boeing had to come up with new, telescoping landing gear to keep the Max 10’s tail from hitting the runway during takeoff. Dan Catchpole, Fortune, "Boeing Quietly Rolls Out the New 737 Max 10, All Other Max Models Remain Grounded," 22 Nov. 2019 Almost every year, Sammi has had new metal telescoping rods surgically implanted into her arms and legs, though her small limbs still bow and bend. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio girl stars in new Netflix series, ‘Raising Dion’," 3 Oct. 2019 It’s hard to describe—hard to fathom, even—that a single image can telescope in on itself the way this painting does. Duff Mcdonald, WIRED, "The Cosmic, Psychedelic, Glow-in-the-Dark Art of Alex Aliume," 20 Aug. 2019 The wheeled bag has a telescoping pull handle; the roomy duffel’s external sleeve slides over the telescoping handle of any wheeled bag. Los Angeles Times, "Gear that keeps clothes neat, you cool, and your feet and your dog happy," 18 July 2019

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

Noun

1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1866, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for telescope

Noun

New Latin telescopium, from Greek tēleskopos farseeing, from tēle- tele- + skopos watcher; akin to Greek skopein to look — more at spy

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Time Traveler for telescope

Time Traveler

The first known use of telescope was in 1650

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Statistics for telescope

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Telescope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/telescope. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for telescope

telescope

noun
How to pronounce telescope (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of telescope

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device shaped like a long tube that you look through in order to see things that are far away

telescope

verb

English Language Learners Definition of telescope (Entry 2 of 2)

: to become shorter by having one section slide inside another somewhat larger section
: to make (something) shorter in length or time

telescope

noun
tele·​scope | \ ˈte-lə-ˌskōp How to pronounce telescope (audio) \

Kids Definition of telescope

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a piece of equipment shaped like a long tube that has lenses for viewing objects at a distance and especially for observing objects in outer space

telescope

verb
telescoped; telescoping

Kids Definition of telescope (Entry 2 of 2)

: to slide or force one part into another

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