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From Middle French optique, from Medieval Latin opticus, from Ancient Greek ὀπτικός ‎(optikós, of seeing).


optic ‎(not comparable)

  1. Of, or relating to the eye or to vision.
    • Milton
      The moon, whose orb / Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views.
  2. Of, or relating to optics or optical instruments.



optic ‎(plural optics)

  1. (now humorous) An eye.
    • Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
      The difference is as great between / The optics seeing, as the object seen.
    • 1819, Lord Byron, Don Juan, I:
      how they, / Who saw those figures on the margin kiss all, / Could turn their optics to the text and pray, / Is more than I know []
    • 1907, Robert W. Chambers, chapter VIII, The Younger Set:
      Elbows almost touching they leaned at ease, idly reading the almost obliterated lines engraved there. ¶ "I never understood it," she observed, lightly scornful. "What occult meaning has a sun-dial for the spooney? I'm sure I don't want to read riddles in a strange gentleman's optics."
  2. A lens or other part of an optical instrument that interacts with light.
    • 2013 July-August, Fenella Saunders, “Tiny Lenses See the Big Picture”, American Scientist:
      The single-imaging optic of the mammalian eye offers some distinct visual advantages. Such lenses can take in photons from a wide range of angles, increasing light sensitivity. They also have high spatial resolution, resolving incoming images in minute detail.
  3. A measuring device with a small window, attached to an upside-down bottle, used to dispense alcoholic drinks in a bar.


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