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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

microscope

[mahy-kruh-skohp] /ˈmaɪ krəˌskoʊp/
noun
1.
an optical instrument having a magnifying lens or a combination of lenses for inspecting objects too small to be seen or too small to be seen distinctly and in detail by the unaided eye.
2.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Microscopium.
Origin
1650-1660
1650-60; < Neo-Latin mīcroscopium. See micro-, -scope
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for microscope
  • After hundreds of years, the most common, basic microscopes still operate by means of the same old hardware: the lens.
  • Glimpse living algae through a microscope.
  • And despite the microscope on his every move, he says he's having a blast.
  • My students are looking at sea urchin embryos under the microscope.
  • Today's pro athletes think they're under the microscope.
  • But it's not all business inside a chip fab, as these microscope photos reveal.
  • Taste is the microscope of the judgment.
  • The agent was using tweezers and a scalpel to handle the bullet under a microscope when it exploded unexpectedly.
  • Photomicrograph of a neuron's cell body and the dendrites radiating out of it, obtained with a scanning electron microscope.
  • All independent variables must be on the table and under the microscope.
British Dictionary definitions for microscope

microscope

/ˈmaɪkrəˌskəʊp/
noun
1.
an optical instrument that uses a lens or combination of lenses to produce a magnified image of a small, close object. Modern optical microscopes have magnifications of about 1500 to 2000 See also simple microscope, compound microscope, ultramicroscope
2.
any instrument, such as the electron microscope, for producing a magnified visual image of a small object
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for microscope
n.

1650s, from Modern Latin microscopium, literally "an instrument for viewing what is small," from Greek micro- (see micro-) + -skopion, from skopein "to look, see" (see -scope).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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microscope in Medicine

microscope mi·cro·scope (mī'krə-skōp')
n.

  1. An optical instrument that uses a lens or a combination of lenses to produce magnified images of small objects, especially of objects too small to be seen by the unaided eye.

  2. An instrument, such as an electron microscope, that uses electronic, acoustic, or other processes to magnify objects.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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microscope in Science
microscope
  (mī'krə-skōp')   
Any of various instruments used to magnify small objects that are difficult or impossible to observe the naked eye. ◇ Optical microscopes use light reflected from or passed through the sample being observed to form a magnified image of the object, refracting the light with an arrangement of lenses and mirrors similar to those found in telescopes. See also atomic force microscope, electron microscope, field ion microscope.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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microscope in Culture

microscope definition


A device that produces a magnified image of objects too small to be seen with the naked eye. Such objects are thus called “microscopic.” The microscope is widely used in medicine and biology. Common microscopes use lenses; others, such as electron microscopes, scan an object with electrons, x-rays, and other radiation besides ordinary visible light.

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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