Definition of Snellen test in US English:

Snellen test


  • A test of visual acuity using rows of letters printed in successively decreasing sizes (the Snellen scale).

    • ‘The values represented here are estimates of how the child would have scored on the Snellen scale.’
    • ‘The Snellen test for visual acuity is the test most commonly used and is based on distance vision.’
    • ‘As with the Snellen test, each eye is tested separately and then together, with and without corrective lenses.’
    • ‘The Snellen scale tests distance visual acuity (distance vision) and is only one of the tests done to assess eyesight.’
    • ‘Failing the department's Snellen test is indicative of generally poor visual ability, especially among 70 + year old drivers.’


Mid 19th century: named after Hermann Snellen (1834–1908), Dutch ophthalmologist.


Snellen test

/ˈsnelən ˌtest/