Definition of optic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɒptɪk/


Relating to the eye or vision.
Example sentences
  • Vigilance is needed for any features of possible optic neuropathy, such as blurred vision, impaired colour perception, and reduced visual acuity
  • All patients were diagnosed as having anterior optic neuropathy.
  • The ophthalmic artery may have a separate foramen located between the optic foramen and the superior orbital fissure.


1A lens or other optical component in an optical instrument.
Example sentences
  • Not only does the lens have the power of some of the white-coloured optics you've seen at sidelines of football matches and other sporting events, the Leica-made zoom features image stabilisation to reduce blur too.
  • The shop, primarily, handles optics from Leupold and Swift Instruments.
  • This method is reasonably adequate for small optics but breaks down when the optic is exposed to beams substantially larger than the area tested.
2 archaic or humorous The eye.
3British trademark A device fastened to the neck of an inverted bottle for measuring out spirits.
Example sentences
  • Skinner once again has optics filled with various spirits mounted on the drum riser, allowing him to distribute drinks to the front row.
  • The group of fourth-year Master of Engineering degree students have designed a new optic which can dispense either single or double shots of spirits in a single, quick operation.
  • It's a small vacuum optic that is attached to the top of a bottle after it has been opened to stop oxygen getting in and ruining wine.


Late Middle English: from French optique or medieval Latin opticus, from Greek optikos, from optos 'seen'.

  • autopsy from mid 17th century:

    In an autopsy someone seeks to find out how a person died by seeing the body with their own eyes. An early sense of the word was ‘personal observation’, and this is the key to the word's origin. It comes from Greek autoptēs ‘eyewitness’, based on autos ‘self’ and optos ‘seen’, which means that it is related to other English words such as optic (Late Middle English) and optician (late 17th century).

Words that rhyme with optic

Coptic, panoptic, synoptic

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: optic

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