Share this entry

optics Line breaks: op¦tics
Pronunciation: /ˈɒptɪks/

Definition of optics in English:

plural noun

[usually treated as singular]
1The scientific study of sight and the behaviour of light, or the properties of transmission and deflection of other forms of radiation.
Example sentences
  • In applied mathematics he studied optics, electricity, telegraphy, capillarity, elasticity, thermodynamics, potential theory, quantum theory, theory of relativity and cosmology.
  • Regrettably, fluid dynamics is not well covered in standard physics curricula, but the ideas have natural connections to basic conservation laws, optics, and quantum mechanics.
  • Modern scholarship has not seriously affected his stature in the fields of mathematics, dynamics, celestial mechanics, astronomy, optics, natural philosophy, or cosmology.
2chiefly North American (Typically in a political context) the way in which an event or course of action is perceived by the public: the issue itself is secondary to the optics of the Democrats opposing this administration in a high-profile way
More example sentences
  • The Republicans understood one thing very well and that was that the optics of legislation are important.
  • The optics are terrible, but it's also a terrible waste of government money.
  • State Transportation Department officials noted in early October that federal officials were concerned about the project's "optics."

Definition of optics in:

Share this entry


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