Share this entry

Share this page

camera obscura

Syllabification: cam·er·a ob·scu·ra
Pronunciation: /ˌkam(ə)rə əbˈskyo͝orə
 
/

Definition of camera obscura in English:

noun

1A darkened box with a convex lens or aperture for projecting the image of an external object onto a screen inside. It is important historically in the development of photography.
Example sentences
  • He was the first to propose adding a convex lens to the camera obscura.
  • My explanation for this very curious result is that Vermeer had a camera obscura with a lens at the painting's viewpoint.
  • In the camera obscura the image is always upside-down.
1.1A small round building with a rotating angled mirror at the apex of the roof, projecting an image of the landscape onto a horizontal surface inside.
Example sentences
  • But the glistening object on the town's market place on Saturday morning turned out to be a mirrored camera obscura.
  • The party also had a camera obscura to produce topographic images, although they seem never to have used it.
  • We are looking to put in a camera obscura or a viewing tower in the church steeple as a tourist attraction to complement the Botanic Gardens across the road.

Origin

early 18th century: from Latin, 'dark chamber'.

Definition of camera obscura in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtenəbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure