One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A lens for concentrating the sun's rays on an object so as to set fire to it.
- ‘But the city was defended by Archimedes, a greater inventor, whose ‘burning glasses’ and other counter-engines destroyed the attackers' siege engines.’
- ‘A glass bowl full of water had been used as a magnifier and burning glass in antiquity.’
- ‘If a spherical glass vessel is filled with clear water, it acts like a round burning glass.’
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