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See also: télescope and télescopé


English Wikipedia has an article on:
An optical telescope.



tele- +‎ -scope. From Latin tēlescopium, from Ancient Greek τηλεσκόπος (tēleskópos, far-seeing), from τῆλε (têle, afar) + σκοπέω (skopéō, I look at).

Coined in 1611 by the Greek mathematician Giovanni Demisiani for one of Galileo Galilei's instruments presented at a banquet at the Accademia dei Lincei. Doublet of Telescopium.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtɛl.ɪ.skəʊp/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈtɛl.əˌskoʊp/
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Hyphenation: tele‧scope



telescope (plural telescopes)

  1. A monocular optical instrument that magnifies distant objects, especially in astronomy.
    • 1831, Thomas Carlyle, “Symbols”, in Sartor Resartus: The Life and Opinions of Herr Teufelsdröckh. [], London: Chapman and Hall, [], →OCLC, book third, page 155:
      It needs a scientific telescope, it needs to be reinterpreted and artificially brought near us, before we can so much as know that it was a Sun.
    • 1859 November 24, Charles Darwin, “Difficulties on Theory”, in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, [], London: John Murray, [], →OCLC, page 188:
      It is scarcely possible to avoid comparing the eye to a telescope.
    • 1880 [1610 March 13], Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, “The Astronomical Messenger”, in Edward Stafford Carlos, transl., The Sidereal Messenger of Galileo Galilei and a Part of the Preface to Kepler's Dioptrics Containing the Original Account of Galileo's Astronomical Discoveries: A Translation with Introduction and Notes, London: Rivingtons, translation of Sidereus Nuncius: [] , →OCLC, page 10:
      About ten months ago a report reached my ears that a Dutchman had constructed a telescope, by the aid of which visible objects, although at a great distance from the eye of the observer, were seen distinctly as if near; []
    • 2001 November, Stephen Hawking, “A Brief History of Relativity”, in The Universe in a Nutshell, →ISBN, →OCLC, page 21:
      This was one of the great missed opportunities of theoretical physics. If Einstein had stuck with his original equations, he could have predicted that the universe must be either expanding or contracting. As it was, the possibility of a time-dependent universe wasn't taken seriously until observations in the 1920s by the 100-inch telescope on Mount Wilson.
  2. Any instrument used in astronomy for observing distant objects (such as a radio telescope).
  3. (television) A retractable tubular support for lights.
    • 1963, Television Engineering: Report, page 245:
      In some studios the telescopes are fixed to the lighting grid []



Derived terms






telescope (third-person singular simple present telescopes, present participle telescoping, simple past and past participle telescoped)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To extend or contract in the manner of a telescope.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To slide or pass one within another, after the manner of the sections of a small telescope or spyglass.
  3. (intransitive) To come into collision, as railway cars, in such a manner that one runs into another.
  4. (transitive, intransitive, mathematics, of a series) To collapse, via cancellation.

See also



  • telescope”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.