Meaning of LENS in English

I. ˈlenz noun

( plural lenses ; except sense 6 )

Etymology: New Latin, from Latin, lentil (plant); from its shape — more at lentil


a. also lense “ : a piece of glass or other transparent substance that has two opposite regular surfaces either both curved or one curved and the other plane and that is commonly used in an optical instrument (as a camera, microscope, eyeglasses) to form an image by focusing rays of light — see converging lens , diverging lens ; camera illustration

b. : a combination of two or more simple lenses — see optical system

c. : a piece of plane colorless glass or colored or polarizing glass used (as in safety goggles or sunglasses) to protect the eye from dust or glare

2. : a device for directing or focusing radiation other than light (as sound waves, radio microwaves, electrons)

a revolutionary metal lens capable of focusing radio waves — Mech. Engineering

3. : a medium that focuses or clarifies

this artist … is the lens through which the 16th century can be examined microscopically and understood — F.H.Taylor

4. also lense : something shaped like a double-convex optical lens: as

a. : lentil 2

a lens of ore

a lens of sandstone

b. : a deposit of archaeological material (as ashes or shells) that has a lens-shaped cross section on excavation

5. also lense : a highly transparent biconvex lens-shaped or nearly spherical body in the eye that focuses light rays entering the eye typically onto the retina, in the vertebrate lying immediately behind the pupil and being made up of slender curved rod-shaped ectodermal cells in concentric lamellae surrounded by a tenuous mesoblastic capsule and through a peripheral suspensory ligament continuous with the ciliary muscle contraction of which relaxes the ligament allowing the lens to become more spherical and thereby altering its focal length — compare accommodation ; see eye illustration

6. capitalized

[New Latin, from Latin, lentil]

: a genus of small erect or partly climbing herbs with pinnate leaves, small inconspicuous whitish flowers, and small flattened pods — see lentil

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

intransitive verb

: to deposit or form a geologic lens

transitive verb

: to take a picture of : photograph ; especially : to make a motion picture of


Etymology: New Latin, from Latin, lentil

synonym of entada

IV. noun

: gravitational lens herein

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.