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From Latin collimare, which originated as a misreading of collineare.


collimate (third-person singular simple present collimates, present participle collimating, simple past and past participle collimated)

  1. To focus into a narrow beam or column; to adjust a focusing device so that it produces a narrow beam.
    Lead bricks were placed around the radioactive source so that the escaping gamma rays would be limited to a collimated beam rather than filling the lab.
    I need to collimate my telescope so that the images are clearer.
    • 2006, Martin Mobberley, Lunar and Planetary Webcam User's Guide, page 22,
      However, after a bit of experience, the collimating chore can become routine. [] Of course, if manufacturers made telescopes whose optics did not move around, you would only have to collimate a telescope once.
    • 2007, Stephen Tonkin, Binocular Astronomy, page 69,
      Binoculars can be collimated by either eccentric rings on the objective lenses or by tilting the prisms with grub screws (set screws). [] Always collimate binoculars outdoors, or indoors by looking through an open window.
    • 2008, Roberto Ramirez-Iniguez, Sevia M. Idrus, Ziran Sun, Optical Wireless Communications: IR for Wireless Connectivity, page 61,
      When calculating the size of the spot created on the retina by the lens of the eye when focusing the energy from a collimated source, the eye is generally considered to be ideal and diffraction limited.





  1. second-person plural present indicative of collimare
  2. second-person plural imperative of collimare
  3. feminine plural of collimato