Definition of lorgnette in English:


(also lorgnettes)


  • A pair of glasses or opera glasses held in front of a person's eyes by a long handle at one side.

    • ‘This pair of fold away lorgnettes are strung with a dyed coral dragon carving, fluorite beads and small glass beads.’
    • ‘In the eighteenth century lorgnettes and quizzing glasses became elegant accessories of upper-class dress and fashion began to influence design.’
    • ‘She does not look at people, she regards them, as though quizzing them at a ball through a pair of lorgnettes.’
    • ‘From these chains were suspended watches or lorgnettes, as well as lockets and other useful implements.’
    • ‘Some of the more desirable lorgnettes had detailed, very artistic engraving and long handles.’
    • ‘Well, I do not have my lorgnette on me, but I will try anyway.’
    • ‘Beginning in the 1890s fashionable ladies wore lorgnettes on elegant occasions.’
    • ‘At one point, we see her flitting from window to window, peeking through her lorgnettes at the humdrum of street life below.’
    • ‘In the days before the Nazi occupation, when Vienna was a leading intellectual and cultural centre in Europe, she was an imposing figure, inscrutable as she peered at her students through her lorgnette.’
    • ‘As they spoke, their father observed them from the staircase, holding a lorgnette.’
    • ‘The lorgnette, of course, comes complete with extra powers of magnification to enhance the user's acuity to view a map, read a small number or menu under less than adequate conditions.’
    • ‘The woman raised a lorgnette and appraised the muddied rugby shirt with pursed lips.’
    • ‘She glanced at him and turned pale, then glanced again with horror, unable to believe her eyes, and tightly gripped the fan and the lorgnette in her hands, evidently struggling with herself not to faint.’
    • ‘We have monocles, lorgnettes, opera glasses and other vision aids for all your needs.’
    • ‘Aside from full-frame styles, they're also available in rimless styles, topless styles and lorgnettes.’
    • ‘Some double lens lorgnettes are hinged between the lenses and fold out to a single plane when in use.’
    • ‘The spring is a little loose when the lorgnette is open.’
    • ‘The weight of the lorgnettes is 24.7 grams.’
    • ‘Peering severely through her lorgnette at Everson she said ‘I'm afraid Colonel Everson that even men your age are in need of constant house-training‘.’
    • ‘Positioned hierarchically above the crowd like a god, King Leopold looks through a lorgnette but seems not to notice the violence below.’


Early 19th century: from French, from lorgner ‘to squint’.