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

Amateur astronomers from throughout the country will volunteer their time and telescopes to give visitors the opportunity to see planets, star clusters, the moon, nebulae and distant galaxies. Weldon Johnson, azcentral, "Grand Canyon National Park earns International Dark Sky Park status," 5 June 2019 An organization called METI International, meanwhile, also does optical searches, primarily with the Boquete Observatory in Panama and with volunteers’ personally owned telescopes. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "The WIRED Guide to Aliens," 5 June 2019 While telescope operators have dealt with these headaches for years, Starlink alone could triple the number of satellites currently in orbit, with the number growing larger if other companies get to space. Shannon Hall, New York Times, "After SpaceX Starlink Launch, a Fear of Satellites That Outnumber All Visible Stars," 1 June 2019 Earth was shining right through the telescope into my eye. Roger Simmons, The Seattle Times, "Apollo 11 astronauts were sleepless in the Sea of Tranquility on moon," 12 Apr. 2019 To an astronomer looking through a telescope here on Earth, all of these stars are just points of light. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Astronomers Discover the Milky Way Is More Twisted and Warped Than We Thought," 5 Feb. 2019 Venus will also brighten throughout the month and its size through a telescope will slightly increase, making it an easy observing target. National Geographic, "Naked-Eye Asteroid and More Can't-Miss Sky Events in June," 1 June 2018 The detection of the star through the Hubble telescope was possible only because the light from the star was magnified 2,000 times. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Far out: Astronomers discover most distant star ever seen," 2 Apr. 2018 There will be plenty of family-friendly activities for kids to enjoy, including looking through telescopes, going on a scavenger hunt and enjoying entertainment from Dairyland's Finest String Band. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Kids can meet tarantulas, snakes and scorpions at the Mitchell Park Domes this Sunday," 12 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Each additional observatory makes that equivalent telescope bigger and more sensitive. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Behind the Scenes of the First Black Hole Photo," 12 Apr. 2019 The red steel pillars of the station hurtled by, and then the grotty cavern walls of the tunnel, its bare light bulbs and heavy cables telescoping past. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, "Can Andy Byford Save the Subways?," 2 July 2018 Justices are already considering another appeal challenging the state land board’s decision to allow the University of Hawaii to sublease mountaintop land to telescope builders. Washington Post, "Giant telescope project before Hawaii Supreme Court again," 21 June 2018 The vehicle is heavily armed, with a 40-millimeter gun firing cased telescoped ammunition. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "France’s New Armored Car Does Not Mess Around," 17 May 2018 That car, which bowed in 1989, was priced well below its competitors and offered Japanese reliability alongside new features such as an automatic tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and power-adjustable seat belts. Daniel Miller, latimes.com, "The Genesis G90 is a luxurious opening act for the new brand — and definitely not a Hyundai," 11 May 2018 The adaptation by Ursula Rani Sarma effectively telescopes the epic plot. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "The women of 'A Thousand Splendid Suns,' casting a spell onstage," 5 June 2018 The restaurant has become very popular very quickly with a combination of good food, reasonable pricing and a casual but celebratory interior that telescopes the experience. Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle, "Gran Electrica in Napa: Mexican cuisine straight outta Brooklyn," 31 May 2018 Cased telescoped ammo, in which the projectile is fully enclosed in a shell casing, is only now coming into common use with modern armies and results in a more compact projectile. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "France’s New Armored Car Does Not Mess Around," 17 May 2018

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

Statistics for telescope

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for telescope

The first known use of telescope was in 1650

See more words from the same year

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

showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

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!