Definition of monocle in US English:



  • A single eyeglass, kept in position by the muscles around the eye.

    • ‘He adjusted the monocle and focused it on the large sparkling stone.’
    • ‘And Franz looked at me, peered at me through his monocle, and said, ‘Very well.’’
    • ‘To let us know that he's sophisticated and wicked, Fred has a monocle and cigarette holder to go along with his white tie and tails.’
    • ‘The powdered wigs and monocles glimmered as I made a smile upon my face, nodding as the finest wealth of the continent graciously accepted what the cart had to offer.’
    • ‘A brown derby covered his white hair, and a monocle covered his eye.’
    • ‘People were wearing, not just pince-nez, but monocles.’
    • ‘When I went back there I found the monocle in one of his drawers.’
    • ‘I noticed that his face had turned red and he disguised it by taking off his monocle and cleaning off imaginary dust from it.’
    • ‘A Dutch planter comes to mind, with knee-high boots and a monocle.’
    • ‘How many Internet users actively wear monocles?’
    • ‘Finally, out of its leather pouch came his monocle - a plain lens in a rolled gold double rim.’
    • ‘It suddenly struck me that without the monocle, he would look very much like the statue of David by Michelangelo.’
    • ‘His eyes were a raven black and one eye wore a monocle that was positioned across his nose.’
    • ‘Later in Hollywood he was advised by American friends to replace the monocle with glasses for job interviews.’
    • ‘Fumbling with a glass of champagne, his monocle popped out and dangled in the drink.’
    • ‘The knight was now looking around through a single monocle at all the boys passing by, sizing one up for a leader.’
    • ‘Even the characters who aren't wearing monocles look as if they should be.’
    • ‘To one side of her a young boy in overalls sucked on his ticket, to the other a plump man frowned through a monocle at a pocket watch chained to his vest.’
    • ‘Its glassy surface gently scintillating with a myriad of colours, the monocle seemed to hold unfathomable power within its relatively small size.’
    • ‘Players must wear at least two additional accessories along with their regular uniform, options include top hats, monocles, scarves, berets, tool belts, leather jackets, and spurs.’
    eyeglass, glass
    View synonyms


Mid 19th century: from French (earlier in the sense ‘one-eyed’), from late Latin monoculus ‘one-eyed’.