- an optical instrument having a magnifying lens or a combination of lenses for inspecting objects too small to be seen or too small to be seen distinctly and in detail by the unaided eye.
- (initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Microscopium.
- an optical instrument that uses a lens or combination of lenses to produce a magnified image of a small, close object. Modern optical microscopes have magnifications of about 1500 to 2000See also simple microscope, compound microscope, ultramicroscope
- any instrument, such as the electron microscope, for producing a magnified visual image of a small object
n.1650s, from Modern Latin microscopium, literally “an instrument for viewing what is small,” from Greek micro- (see micro-) + -skopion, from skopein “to look, see” (see -scope). n.
- An optical instrument that uses a lens or a combination of lenses to produce magnified images of small objects, especially of objects too small to be seen by the unaided eye.
- An instrument, such as an electron microscope, that uses electronic, acoustic, or other processes to magnify objects.
- Any of various instruments used to magnify small objects that are difficult or impossible to observe the naked eye.♦ Optical microscopes use light reflected from or passed through the sample being observed to form a magnified image of the object, refracting the light with an arrangement of lenses and mirrors similar to those found in telescopes. See also atomic force microscope electron microscope field ion microscope.
A device that produces a magnified image of objects too small to be seen with the naked eye. Such objects are thus called “microscopic.” The microscope is widely used in medicine and biology. Common microscopes use lenses; others, such as electron microscopes, scan an object with electrons, x-rays, and other radiation besides ordinary visible light.