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

  • n. A ground or molded piece of glass, plastic, or other transparent material with opposite surfaces either or both of which are curved, by means of which light rays are refracted so that they converge or diverge to form an image.
  • n. A combination of two or more such pieces, sometimes with other optical devices such as prisms, used to form an image for viewing or photographing. Also called compound lens.
  • n. A device that causes radiation other than light to converge or diverge by an action analogous to that of an optical lens.
  • n. A transparent, biconvex body of the eye between the iris and the vitreous humor that focuses light rays entering through the pupil to form an image on the retina.
  • transitive v. Informal To make a photograph or movie of.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An object, usually made of glass, that focuses or defocuses the light that passes through it.
  • n. A device which focuses or defocuses electron beams.
  • n. A convex shape bounded by two circular arcs, joined at their endpoints, the corresponding concave shape being a lune.
  • n. A genus of the legume family; its bean.
  • n. The transparent crystalline structure in the eye.
  • n. A way of looking, literally or figuratively, at something.
  • v. To film, shoot.
  • v. To become thinner towards the edges.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A piece of glass, or other transparent substance, ground with two opposite regular surfaces, either both curved, or one curved and the other plane, and commonly used, either singly or combined, in optical instruments, for changing the direction of rays of light, and thus magnifying objects, or otherwise modifying vision. In practice, the curved surfaces are usually spherical, though rarely cylindrical, or of some other figure.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A piece of transparent substance bounded by two curved surfaces (usually spherical), or by a curved surface and a plane.
  • n. In anatomy, in the eye, a double-convex body placed in the axis of vision behind the iris between the aqueous humor and the vitreous humor, serving to focus rays of light upon the retina; the crystalline lens. See first cut under eye.
  • n. Figuratively, photography, from the use of lenses in that art.
  • n. A genus of leguminous plants of the tribe Vicieæ.
  • n. A genus of dicotyledonous plants of the family Mimosaceæ. There are about 14 species, of which the best-known is L. phaseoloides, the match-box bean or simitar-pod. See Entada, gogo, sea-bean, 1, and simitar-pod.
  • n. In entomology: The crystalline lens or cone.
  • n. One of the facets of the compound eye.
  • n. In geology, a body of ore having a lenticular shape.
  • n. A surface-condenser made of two round, dished plates bolted together, resembling in form a double-convex lens.

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

  • n. biconvex transparent body situated behind the iris in the eye; its role (along with the cornea) is to focuses light on the retina
  • n. (metaphor) a channel through which something can be seen or understood
  • n. a transparent optical device used to converge or diverge transmitted light and to form images
  • n. genus of small erect or climbing herbs with pinnate leaves and small inconspicuous white flowers and small flattened pods: lentils
  • n. electronic equipment that uses a magnetic or electric field in order to focus a beam of electrons


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

New Latin lēns, from Latin, lentil (from the shape of a double convex lens).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin lēns ("lentil").



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