bifocals

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From bi- + focal (see focus), coined in 1824 by John Isaac Hawkins, inventor of trifocals. When the concept of bifocals was originally conceived by Benjamin Franklin, he called them double spectacles.

Noun[edit]

bifocals pl (plural only)

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  1. Spectacles that have corrective lenses of two different powers; used by people who need both distance and reading glasses.
    • 2002, Zadie Smith, The Autograph Man, Penguin Books (2003), page 116:
      He unfolded a pair of bifocals and thrust them as far up the bridge of his nose as possible.

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]