from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A magnifying lens, as used to focus sunlight on to an object.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I am he through whom the rays of heavenly grace dart like those of the sun through a burning-glass, concentrating them on other objects, until they kindle and blaze, while the glass itself remains cold and uninfluenced.

    The Talisman

  • The more he sees her, the worse he is, — uritque videndo, as in a burning-glass, the sunbeams are re-collected to a centre, the rays of love are projected from her eyes.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • For, non pereunt, sed minuuntur et disparent, [3091] Blancanus holds they come and go by fits, casting their tails still from the sun: some of them, as a burning-glass, projects the sunbeams from it; though not always neither: for sometimes a comet casts his tail from Venus, as Tycho observes.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • The sun strikes upon our heads at this open window, as though its rays were concentrated through a burning-glass; but the day is in its zenith, and the season an unusual one.

    American Notes for General Circulation

  • And he showed the apparatus which served for a burning-glass.

    The Mysterious Island

  • Having filled them with water and rendered their edges adhesive by means of a little clay, he thus fabricated a regular burning-glass, which, concentrating the solar rays on some very dry moss, soon caused it to blaze.

    The Mysterious Island

  • I inferred that the infinite number of minute bubbles which I had first seen against the under surface of the ice were now frozen in likewise, and that each, in its degree, had operated like a burning-glass on the ice beneath to melt and rot it.


  • When the cheering was done, and every eye was fixed upon the blushing Scudamore — who felt himself, under that fixture, like an insect under a lens which the sun is turning into a burning-glass — the Chairman perceived his sad plight, and to give him more time and more spirit, rose again.


  • Openshaw had instantly turned on them that concentrated spotlight or burning-glass of sceptical scrutiny which he turned on many men to see if they were mountebanks or maniacs; and, in this case, he had a rather unusual sense of reassurance.

    The Complete Father Brown

  • In silence, Ramón kindled shreds of cane and ocote, with a burning-glass.

    The Plumed Serpent


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  • "Burning-glass, or burning-mirror, a machine by which the sun's rays are collected into a point, and thus their force and effect considerably increased, so as to consume objects within its reach.

    "There are two kinds of burning glasses, namely, convex and concave....

    "In modern times, there have been several inventions of this kind, remarkable for their large diameter and powerful effects: the principal of which are those of Magine, of 20 inches diameter; of Sepatala of Milan, near 42 inches diameter; of Settala of Villette, of Tschirnhausen, of Trudaine, of Parker, and of Buffon; the latter of whom made one that consisted of 400 mirrors... with this he could melt lead and tin, at the distance of 140 feet....

    "Sir Isaac Newton presented a burning-glass to the Royal Society, which consisted of seven concave glasses... This glass vitrifies brick or tile in one second, and melts gold in half a minute."

    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 62

    October 14, 2008