AskDefine | Define lens

Dictionary Definition



1 a transparent optical device used to converge or diverge transmitted light and to form images [syn: lense, lens system]
2 genus of small erect or climbing herbs with pinnate leaves and small inconspicuous white flowers and small flattened pods: lentils [syn: genus Lens]
3 (metaphor) a channel through which something can be seen or understood; "the writer is the lens through which history can be seen"
4 biconvex transparent body situated behind the iris in the eye; it focuses light waves on the retina [syn: crystalline lens]
5 electronic equipment that uses a magnetic or electric field in order to focus a beam of electrons [syn: electron lens]

User Contributed Dictionary



'lens, a "lentil bean"



  1. An object, usually made of glass, that focuses or defocuses the light that passes through it.
  2. A device which focuses or defocuses electron beams.
  3. A convex shape bounded by two circular arcs, joined at their endpoints, the corresponding concave shape being a lune.
  4. A genus of the legume family.
  5. The transparent crystalline structure in the eye.

Related terms


object focusing or defocusing the light passing through it
  • Czech: čočka
  • Finnish: linssi
  • Hungarian: lencse
  • Japanese: レンズ
  • Portuguese: lente
  • Serbian: sočivo
  • Spanish: lente
device which focuses or defocuses electron beams
  • Finnish: poikkeutuskela
geometry: convex shape bounded by two circular arcs
  • Finnish: linssi
biology: genus of the legume family
  • Finnish: linssi
anatomy: transparent crystalline structure in the eye
  • Finnish: mykiö, linssi


  1. To film.
  2. To become thinner towards the edges.



  1. In the context of "optics|lang=nl": lens



  1. A lentil bean.

Extensive Definition

Lens can refer to:

In optics

Focussing of other radiation and forces

  • Gravitational lens, a massive astronomical object which bends the light from objects beyond it
  • Electrostatic lens, a device used to focus or collimate electron beams
  • Explosive lens, a shaped explosive charge with focussed blast used primarily in nuclear weapons
  • Acoustic lens, a mechanical device used in loudspeaker design to improve the dispersion of high frequencies

Uses associated with shapes

The word lens originally comes from the Latin for a lentil; the first, biconvex, optical lens was given its name because it was lentil-shaped.

Other uses

  • a metaphor for a point of view
  • a fictional alien device in E. E. Smith's Lensman series, which gives its bearer telepathic and other abilities

Place names

Names of people


lens in Arabic: عدسة
lens in Czech: Čočka
lens in German: Linse
lens in Spanish: Lente (desambiguación)
lens in Esperanto: Lenso
lens in French: Lentille
lens in Korean: 렌즈 (동음이의)
lens in Croatian: Leća
lens in Dutch: Lens
lens in Norwegian: Linse
lens in Russian: Линза (значения)
lens in Slovak: Šošovka
lens in Thai: เลนส์
lens in Turkish: Lens
lens in Ukrainian: Лінза (значення)
lens in Volapük: Lens

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

baby blues, banjo eyes, bright eyes, clear eyes, cornea, eye, eyeball, eyelid, goggle eyes, iris, lid, naked eye, nictitating membrane, oculus, optic, optic nerve, orb, organ of vision, peeper, popeyes, pupil, retina, saucer eyes, sclera, starry orbs, unaided eye, visual organ
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