from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A device capable of collimating radiation, as a long narrow tube in which strongly absorbing or reflecting walls permit only radiation traveling parallel to the tube axis to traverse the entire length.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An optical device that generates a parallel beam of light. Often used to compensate for laser beam divergence.
  • n. A similar device that produces a parallel beam of particles such as neutrons.
  • n. A small telescope attached to a larger one, used to point it in the correct general direction

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A telescope arranged and used to determine errors of collimation, both vertical and horizontal.
  • n. A tube having a convex lens at one end and at the other a small opening or slit which is at the principal focus of the lens, used for producing a beam of parallel rays; also, a lens so used.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A fixed telescope with a system of wires at its focus, and so arranged that another telescope can readily be brought into collimation with it, when an observer at the eyepiece of the latter can look into the objective of the former and see the cross-wires or slit in its focal plane. The intersection of the wires of the collimator is used as a standard point of reference.
  • n. The receiving telescope of a spectroscope, consisting of a slit through which the light enters, and a tube with a lens at its extremity which causes the rays to fall upon the prism or grating in parallel lines.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small telescope attached to a large telescope to use in setting the line of the larger one
  • n. optical device consisting of a tube containing a convex achromatic lens at one end and a slit at the other with the slit at the focus of the lens; light rays leave the slit as a parallel beam


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • A collimator is a simple device that uses a reflective surface and lenses to replicate a target at infinity.


  • I do not carry ammo in mine - that's a big NO-NO in California South - but I carry several calibres in "bore snakes" and a collimator, plus a copy of local legislation, to balance that.

    My Range Bag

  • A boresighter, or collimator, can save you untoldanguish by showing you where your scope is aiming, as opposed to where youthink it's aiming.

    Three New Big-Game Bullets

  • The caption I read stated that the shooter had left a collimator in the end of the barrel when he fire.

    Why Rifle Makers Go Gray

  • This sextant is precisely calibrated for celestial navigation by a collimator that checks its accuracy at every 15, providing an accuracy of 0’.1 arc minute, 200 yards.

    Oldschool Navigationsystem

  • Lar Po had surveying tools, including an ancient laser collimator that wasn't much different from the one I'd used in graduate school.

    Forever Free

  • Doug's head was soon whirling with numbers and terms such as 'beam collimator' and 'tesla limits'.


  • I directed the axis of the collimator of my spectrograph first perpendicular to the axis of a beam of hydrogen canal rays, and on a second occasion I allowed the canal rays in the axis of the collimator to approach it.

    Johannes Stark - Nobel Lecture

  • A concave lens has been substituted for the collimator and slit, and besides other advantages, a great saving in length is secured by this change.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 601, July 9, 1887

  • The form of spectroscope mentioned above, in which the collimator and slit are replaced by a concave lens, will be tried.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 601, July 9, 1887


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