Definition of lens in English:



  • 1A piece of glass or other transparent material with curved sides for concentrating or dispersing light rays, used singly (as in a magnifying glass) or with other lenses (as in a telescope).

    • ‘He was particularly interested in the ideas of improving telescope design by using lenses made up of two different types of glass.’
    • ‘The lens that picks up the light from the focal point is called the eyepiece lens.’
    • ‘Because of the extreme curve of the glasses, the lenses are hard to fit to a frame - and that makes them costly.’
    • ‘His first telescope was made from available lenses and gave a magnification of about four times.’
    • ‘Galileo's telescope had a convex object lens but a concave eye-piece.’
    • ‘An air bubble in water that is shaped like a normal glass lens would have roughly the opposite effect of the glass lens.’
    • ‘Some of the other options include glass lenses and plastic lenses.’
    • ‘If you wear glasses have your reading lens fitted to your polarized ones.’
    • ‘I have two pairs of glasses with different coloured lenses for different light conditions.’
    • ‘In 1935, Zeiss found a coating of magnesium fluoride on glass lenses dramatically improved image quality.’
    • ‘Galileo's telescope was similar to a pair of opera glasses in that it used an arrangement of glass lenses to magnify objects.’
    • ‘Light flashed across the round lenses of his glasses.’
    • ‘These foreground clusters act as lenses that magnify the light of the protogalaxies and allow us to detect and study them.’
    • ‘It could have been a bit of dirt on the lens of the telescope but it was really clear through the viewer.’
    • ‘His novel idea was to use both mirrors and lenses in his telescope.’
    • ‘Most conventional lenses are made of glass, polymer, or other transparent solid materials.’
    • ‘Isaac Newton proposed using a curved mirror, rather than a lens, to magnify the heavens, and reflecting telescopes are nowadays the norm.’
    • ‘Using his experimental abilities, he ground lenses and assembled a telescope.’
    • ‘But what appeared to be a minute particle of dirt on a telescope lens was in fact a rare daylight view of the planet Mercury crossing in front of the Sun.’
    • ‘Each cluster acts as a magnifying lens, greatly brightening a quasar's light.’
    1. 1.1The light-gathering device of a camera, typically containing a group of compound lenses.
      • ‘Controlled by software, tiny motors on the lens assembly and spherical camera casing allow the lens to pan and track objects.’
      • ‘Scott also plays with lenses, camera speed and some excellent special effects to heighten the impact of the harrowing fight scenes.’
      • ‘We were looking through our camera lenses, and we could see them waving to us and they kept shooting at us.’
      • ‘Zooming the camera lens even further, she saw figures off to the right, walking in front of one of the gray tents.’
      • ‘They proceeded to display cases located at the store's front and stole 18 digital and film cameras along with eight camera lenses.’
      • ‘The lens of the eye works much like the lens of a camera.’
      • ‘Stuff like this makes me want to get a fish-eye lens for my digital camera.’
      • ‘If your subject is nearby, you can often isolate details with a normal lens or moderate telephoto.’
      • ‘Of course the best cameras and lenses can produce images of superior technical quality to gear that is less capable.’
      • ‘Photography is now about computers as much as it is about cameras and lenses.’
      • ‘The solution to this is to get right next to the glass, so that your camera lens is flush with the glass surface.’
      • ‘If possible, bring a camera with interchangeable lenses.’
      • ‘Store cameras and lenses in padded cases and, in very damp environments, in locking plastic bags or even underwater housings.’
      • ‘Being able to move the camera lens for focusing and zooming would allow picture phones to take clear telephoto shots and focus on objects close-up.’
      • ‘Camera lenses, no matter how expensive, are nowhere near as acutely sensitive as the human eye, nor does the camera see colour in exactly the same way.’
      • ‘But once the officers checked out the tape over the camera lenses, they decided to rewind and review the videos anyway.’
      • ‘The Standard lens is actually one of the most neglected lenses in your camera bag.’
      • ‘All mating trials were video-recorded by using cameras with macrozoom lenses to allow detailed analysis of the mating sequence.’
      • ‘With that he tosses the paper across, and goes back to his camera lenses and his camera lens cloth.’
      • ‘Some of these were made not simply without lenses but without a camera at all - rather by the direct manipulation of photographic plates.’
    2. 1.2Anatomy
      • ‘With age, your eyes are less able to produce tears, your retinas thin and your lenses gradually turn yellow and become less clear.’
      • ‘The posterior chamber is found behind the iris and in front of the lens and ciliary bodies.’
      • ‘The dioptric system includes the cornea, the lens, the aqueous humor within the anterior eye chamber, and the vitreous body.’
      • ‘The vitreous humor is between the back of the lens and the retina.’
      • ‘The eye fluid nourishes the bloodless lens and cornea.’
    3. 1.3
      short for contact lens
    4. 1.4Physics An object or device which focuses or otherwise modifies the direction of movement of light, sound, electrons, etc.
      • ‘Designed much like a compound microscope, the electron microscope uses a beam of electrons focused through magnetic lenses.’
      • ‘The first and second lenses operate jointly to concentrate and collimate the incident light beam.’
      • ‘In order to concentrate more light at the aperture, they placed a glass ball lens on the upper side of the tip prior to the assembly step.’
      • ‘Polycarbonate is a tough, transparent thermoplastic that's used to make thin, light lenses.’
      • ‘Negative refraction implies that a converging lens made from negative-index material should have a concave surface rather than a convex one.’


Late 17th century: from Latin, lentil (because of the similarity in shape).