microscope

[mahy-kruh-skohp]
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:
1650–60; < Neo-Latin mīcroscopium. See micro-, -scope

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World English Dictionary
microscope (ˈmaɪkrəˌskəʊp)
 
n
1.  simple microscope compound microscope See also ultramicroscope 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
2.  any instrument, such as the electron microscope, for producing a magnified visual image of a small object

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

microscope
1650s, from Mod.L. microscopium, lit. "an instrument for viewing what is small," from Gk. micro- (q.v.) + -skopion "means of viewing," from skopein "look at."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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.

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
microscope  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (mī'krə-skōp')  Pronunciation Key 
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.

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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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Example sentences
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.
Images for microscope
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