Definition of microscope in English:



  • An optical instrument used for viewing very small objects, such as mineral samples or animal or plant cells, typically magnified several hundred times.

    • ‘Optical inspection microscopes provide test capabilities for both masks and wafers at several different stages of the printing process.’
    • ‘In rapid succession the field ion microscope and the scanning tunnelling microscope soon joined these microscopes.’
    • ‘We know that looking for abnormal cells down a microscope is not an exact science, and that is the problem.’
    • ‘Instead, the abundance of leaf hairs on leaf surfaces or veins was scored for each sample under a light microscope.’
    • ‘He used a simple microscope, although compound microscopes were available at the time.’
    • ‘We had a lab to do that day, something to do with plants and microscopes and osmosis.’
    • ‘A biopsy allows scientists to look at a sample of your cells under a microscope and carry out tests on the tissue.’
    • ‘This simple approach recognises the fact that mycobacterial culture is not feasible in peripheral units but that light microscopes and trained microscopy staff are available.’
    • ‘The sample is then sent to a laboratory to be looked at under a microscope for signs of cell change.’
    • ‘A pathologist will examine the prostate sample under a microscope and check whether or not it is cancerous.’
    • ‘The lengths were measured with an ocular micrometer fitted to the eyepiece of the microscope.’
    • ‘They therefore resolve images at much higher magnifications than can light microscopes.’
    • ‘Measurements were made using a light microscope equipped with an eyepiece micrometer.’
    • ‘Light microscopes can magnify objects up to 1,000 times, revealing microscopic details.’
    • ‘The paper shows that positrons can see defects better than either optical or electron beam microscopes.’
    • ‘Photographs were taken after dissection using a microscope at a magnification of 64x.’
    • ‘These research microscopes often have binocular eyepieces, relying upon a series of prisms to split the image so that it may be viewed with both eyes.’
    • ‘Currently available manual assays rely on microscopes (optical or fluorescence).’
    • ‘She had spent weeks hunched over a microscope looking at samples of sperm.’
    • ‘Biosensors, such as patch clamps, electrodes, or microscopes are positioned to detect a response from the cell.’


  • under the microscope

    • Being subjected to critical examination or analysis.

      ‘aspects of our operations will be put under the microscope’
      ‘love, marriage, and money come under the microscope’
      • ‘The US battle plans have been widely leaked and put under the microscope by Western military analysts.’
      • ‘Each week a topical subject was put under the microscope and debated by way of historical writings.’
      • ‘All current spending has to be put under the microscope, with a thorough examination across all spending heads.’
      • ‘An urgent need to support black and ethnic minority women who are victims of domestic abuse has been put under the microscope.’
      • ‘One of last century's most potent literary and political figures is put under the microscope in this prize-winning biography.’
      • ‘The California law has predictably been thrust under the microscope since its usage in this monumental trial.’
      • ‘Northern Rock will kick off the bank reporting season this week, bringing the state of the housing market back under the microscope.’
      • ‘The state of roads across the city will come under the microscope at tomorrow's Environment and Transport Scrutiny Panel meeting.’
      • ‘I know I'm generalizing, but this show puts these tendencies under the microscope.’
      • ‘The authority is among the first wave of district councils in the country to have its public services put under the microscope as part of the new assessment.’
      exploratory, investigational, probing, fact-finding, trial and error
      View synonyms


Mid 17th century: from modern Latin microscopium (see micro-, -scope).