1 [pyoo-puhl]
a person, usually young, who is learning under the close supervision of a teacher at school, a private tutor, or the like; student.
Civil Law. an orphaned or emancipated minor under the care of a guardian.
Roman Law. a person under the age of puberty orphaned or emancipated, and under the care of a guardian.

1350–1400; Middle English pupille < Middle French < Latin pūpillus (masculine), pūpilla (feminine) orphan, ward, diminutives of pūpus boy, pūpa girl

pupilless, adjective

1. apprentice, novice. Pupil, disciple, scholar, student refer to a person who is studying, usually in a school. A pupil is one under the close supervision of a teacher, either because of youth or of specialization in some branch of study: a grade-school pupil; the pupil of a famous musician. A disciple is one who follows the teachings or doctrines of a person whom he or she considers to be a master or authority: a disciple of Swedenborg. Scholar once meaning the same as pupil is today usually applied to one who has acquired wide erudition in some field of learning: a great Latin scholar. A student is a person attending an educational institution or someone who has devoted much attention to a particular problem: a college student; a student of politics.
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2 [pyoo-puhl]
noun Anatomy.
the expanding and contracting opening in the iris of the eye, through which light passes to the retina.

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin pūpilla literally, little doll; for sense compare Greek kórē girl, doll, pupil of the eye, alluding to the tiny reflections visible in the pupils. See pupa

pupilless, adjective
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World English Dictionary
pupil1 (ˈpjuːpəl)
1.  a student who is taught by a teacher, esp a young student
2.  civil law, Scots law a boy under 14 or a girl under 12 who is in the care of a guardian
[C14: from Latin pupillus an orphan, from pūpus a child]

pupil2 (ˈpjuːpəl)
the dark circular aperture at the centre of the iris of the eye, through which light enters
[C16: from Latin pūpilla, diminutive of pūpa girl, puppet; from the tiny reflections in the eye]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"student," 1382, originally "orphan child, ward," from O.Fr. pupille (14c.), from L. pupillus (fem. pupilla) "orphan, ward, minor," dim. of pupus "boy" (fem. pupa "girl"), probably related to puer "child," probably from PIE *pup-, from base *pu- "to swell, inflate." Meaning "disciple, student" first
recorded 1563.

"center of the eye," 1660s (in L. form from late 14c.), from O.Fr. pupille (14c.), from L. pupilla, originally "little girl-doll," dim. of pupa "girl, doll" (see pupil (1)), so called from the tiny image one sees of himself reflected in the eye of another. Gk. is said also
to have used the same word, kore (lit. "girl"), to mean both "doll" and "pupil of the eye;" and cf. obsolete baby "small image of oneself in another's pupil" (1590s), source of 17c. colloquial expression to look babies "stare lovingly into another's eyes."
"Self-knowledge can be obtained only by looking into the mind and virtue of the soul, which is the diviner part of a man, as we see our own image in anothers eye." [Plato, "Alcibiades," I.133]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

pupil pu·pil (pyōō'pəl)
The apparently black circular opening in the center of the iris of the eye, through which light passes to the retina.

pu'pi·lar adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
pupil   (py'pəl)  Pronunciation Key 
The opening in the center of the iris through which light enters the eye.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

pupil definition

The seemingly black, central opening in the iris of the eye, through which light enters.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in the anatomy of the eye, the opening within the iris through which light passes before reaching the lens and being focused onto the retina. The size of the opening is governed by the muscles of the iris, which rapidly constrict the pupil when exposed to bright light and expand (dilate) the pupil in dim light. Parasympathetic nerve fibres from the third (oculomotor) cranial nerve innervate the muscle that causes constriction of the pupil, whereas sympathetic nerve fibres control dilation. The pupillary aperture also narrows when focusing on close objects and dilates for more distant viewing. At its maximum contraction, the adult pupil may be less than 1 mm (0.04 inch) in diameter, and it may increase up to 10 times to its maximum diameter. The size of the human pupil may also vary as a result of age, disease, trauma, or other abnormalities within the visual system, including dysfunction of the pathways controlling pupillary movement. Thus, careful evaluation of the pupils is an important part of both eye and neurologic exams.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Emphasize the other definition of scholar, ie, a student or pupil.
Any pupil who cannot keep up has to repeat the year.
Chameleons' eyelids are fused together, leaving only a pinhole open over the
Look at the center of the pupil and you will see the surrounding purple rings
  fill with rapid illusory motion.
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