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

  • n. The branch of physics that deals with light and vision, chiefly the generation, propagation, and detection of electromagnetic radiation having wavelengths greater than x-rays and shorter than microwaves.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The physics of light and vision.
  • n. The light-related aspects of a device.
  • n. Perception, image, public relations.
  • n. Plural form of optic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That branch of physical science which treats of the nature and properties of light, the laws of its modification by opaque and transparent bodies, and the phenomena of vision.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. That branch of physical science which treats of the nature and properties of light, of the theory of colors (chromatics), of the change which light suffers either in its qualities or in its course when refracted or transmitted through bodies (dioptrics), when reflected from their surfaces or when passing near them (catoptrics), of the structure of the eye and the laws of vision, and of the construction of instruments of introspection, as telescopes, microscopes, etc.

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

  • n. the branch of physics that studies the physical properties of light
  • n. optical properties


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • "Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey, newly slim and ever-smiley, went to Parramatta Westfield on Tuesday. For most people this is called a walk, but for a politician it is known as a walk-through, a special species of perambulation that can only occur under certain conditions.

    There must be cameras present to capture the spontaneous nature of the politician's interactions with locals. And he must be reasonably sure he will not be barged with a shopping trolley or gypsy-cursed by a passing pensioner - these things make for bad optics, as they say in the spin trade."

    - Jacqueline Maley, Hockey walks the talk, but minus the tutu,, 6 March 2013.

    March 5, 2013