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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Birthing a new space telescope takes a long time and a lot of money and inspiration. New York Times, "The Webb Telescope, NASA’s Golden Surfer, Is Almost Ready, Again," 2 Feb. 2021 The image came from the same series of test photographs, Christopher Crockett reports for Science News, and the telescope is expected to be completed in 2021. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Brilliant Sunspot Photo Captures the Beginning of a New Solar Cycle," 17 Dec. 2020 The telescope was built in the 1960s with money from the Defense Department amid a push to develop anti-ballistic missile defenses. Washington Post, "National Digest: Radio telescope first damaged in August collapses," 2 Dec. 2020 The telescope was built in the 1960s with money from the Defense Department amid a push to develop anti-ballistic missile defenses. Dánica Coto, USA TODAY, "'A huge loss': Massive Puerto Rico radio telescope used for astronomical discoveries collapses," 2 Dec. 2020 The telescope was used to track asteroids, and in 1974, Russell Hulse and Joseph Taylor Jr. were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics after using it to conduct research. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Giant Puerto Rico radio telescope collapses," 1 Dec. 2020 The telescope was built in the 1960s with money from the Defense Department amid a push to develop anti-ballistic missile defenses. DÁnica Coto, orlandosentinel.com, "Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope to close in blow to science," 19 Nov. 2020 By the time the sun rose the next day, the telescope was transformed. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "The End of an Era in Astronomy," 19 Nov. 2020 The Arecibo telescope has been widely used by astrophysicists as well as atmospheric and planetary scientists since the early 1960s. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Famed Arecibo telescope, on the brink of collapse, will be dismantled," 19 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The only telescope an amateur astronomer will ever need. Cameron Johnson, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Started in Astronomy," 10 Nov. 2020 The only telescope an amateur astronomer will ever need. Cameron Johnson, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Started in Astronomy," 10 Nov. 2020 Scientists are working on developing new tests that could pinpoint the signal’s origin, including continuing to aim the Parkes telescope at Proxima. Nadia Drake, Science, "Alien hunters detect mysterious radio signal from nearby star," 18 Dec. 2020 The only telescope an amateur astronomer will ever need. Cameron Johnson, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Started in Astronomy," 10 Nov. 2020 The only telescope an amateur astronomer will ever need. Cameron Johnson, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Started in Astronomy," 10 Nov. 2020 The only telescope an amateur astronomer will ever need. Cameron Johnson, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Started in Astronomy," 10 Nov. 2020 The only telescope an amateur astronomer will ever need. Cameron Johnson, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Started in Astronomy," 10 Nov. 2020 The only telescope an amateur astronomer will ever need. Cameron Johnson, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Started in Astronomy," 10 Nov. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about telescope

Time Traveler for telescope

Time Traveler

The first known use of telescope was in 1650

See more words from the same year

Statistics for telescope

Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Telescope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/telescope. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for telescope

telescope

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on telescope

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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