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[vyoo-er] /ˈvyu ər/
a person or thing that views.
a person who watches television, often a devotee of television or of a particular kind of television program:
a weekly show aimed at teenage viewers.
any of various optical devices to facilitate viewing, especially one that is small and boxlike with a magnifying lens, and sometimes a light source, in which a photographic transparency may be viewed.
an eyepiece or viewfinder.
an official inspector of property, public works, or the like.
Origin of viewer
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English; see view, -er1
Related forms
nonviewer, noun
underviewer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for viewer
  • Place the plant in the container off-center and rotated forward at a slight angle to face the viewer.
  • The composition should naturally take a viewer's eyes to the focal point, but it is not the case with this photograph.
  • They now reach out and grab the viewer and create a psychological experience.
  • If there is a political subtext to these paintings, the viewer has to supply it.
  • The line between exhibition space and viewer space is sometimes clear and sometimes not.
  • They reach out and grab the viewer and create a psychological experience.
  • All the viewer needs to know is that they are in the world of dinosaurs.
  • It heightens the sense that the philosophers make an appearance from another space, and luminously hover in the viewer's space.
  • The viewer gets reformatted, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.
  • Incoming photons take a curved path from the sky to the viewer's eye.
British Dictionary definitions for viewer


a person who views something, esp television
any optical device by means of which something is viewed, esp one used for viewing photographic transparencies
(law) a person appointed by a court to inspect and report upon property, etc
Derived Forms
viewership, noun
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 viewer

early 15c., "civic official responsible for surveying property," agent noun from view (v.). Meaning "watcher of television" first recorded 1935, in place of earlier suggestion looker-in (1927).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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viewer in Technology

A program to allow a file to be read (or played) but not changed. Viewers are often freely distributable, even when the editor application is not. This allows you to create files with the editor and make the viewer available to other users to view your files, e.g. on a website. Examples include the Word and Adobe Acrobat viewers.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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