Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Optic noun [ From Optic , adjective ]
1. The organ of sight; an eye.

The difference is as great between
The optics seeing, as the object seen.
Pope.

2. An eyeglass. [ Obsolete] Herbert.

Optic, Optical adjective [ French optique , Greek ...; akin to ... sight, ... I have seen, ... I shall see, and to ... the two eyes, ... face, Latin oculus eye. See Ocular , Eye , and confer Canopy , Ophthalmia .]
1. Of or pertaining to vision or sight.

The moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views.
Milton.

2. Of or pertaining to the eye; ocular; as, the optic nerves (the first pair of cranial nerves) which are distributed to the retina. See Illust. of Brain , and Eye .

3. Relating to the science of optics; as, optical works.

Optic angle (Opt.) , the angle included between the optic axes of the two eyes when directed to the same point; -- sometimes called binocular parallax . -- Optic axis . (Opt.) (a) A line drawn through the center of the eye perpendicular to its anterior and posterior surfaces. In a normal eye it is in the direction of the optic axis that objects are most distinctly seen. (b) The line in a doubly refracting crystal, in the direction of which no double refraction occurs. A uniaxial crystal has one such line, a biaxial crystal has two. - - Optical circle (Opt.) , a graduated circle used for the measurement of angles in optical experiments. -- Optical square , a surveyor's instrument with reflectors for laying off right angles.

Optically adverb By optics or sight; with reference to optics.

Optically active , Optically inactive (Chem. Physics) , terms used of certain metameric substances which, while identical with each other in other respects, differ in this, viz., that they do or do not produce right- handed or left-handed circular polarization of light. -- Optically positive , Optically negative . See under Refraction .

Optician noun [ Confer French opticien . See Optic , adjective ]


1. One skilled in optics. [ R.] A. Smith.

2. One who deals in optical glasses and instruments.

Optics noun [ Confer French optique , Latin optice , Greek ... (sc. ...). See Optic .] That branch of physical science which treats of the nature and properties of light, the laws of its modification by opaque and transparent bodies, and the phenomena of vision.

Optigraph noun [ Optic + -graph : confer French opticographe . See Optic , adjective ] A telescope with a diagonal eyepiece, suspended vertically in gimbals by the object end beneath a fixed diagonal plane mirror. It is used for delineating landscapes, by means of a pencil at the eye end which leaves the delineation on paper.

Optimacy noun [ Confer French optimatie . See Optimate .]


1. Government by the nobility. [ R.] Howell.

2. Collectively, the nobility. [ R.]

Optimate adjective [ Latin optimas , -atis , adj., optimates , noun plural, the adherents of the best men, the aristocrats, from optimus the best.] Of or pertaining to the nobility or aristocracy. [ R.] -- noun A nobleman or aristocrat; a chief man in a state or city. [ R.] Chapman.

Optimates noun plural [ Latin See Optimate .] The nobility or aristocracy of ancient Rome, as opposed to the populares .

Optime noun [ Latin , adverb from optimus the best.] One of those who stand in the second rank of honors, immediately after the wranglers, in the University of Cambridge, England. They are divided into senior and junior optimes.

Optimism noun [ Latin optimus the best; akin to optio choice: confer French optimisme . See Option .]


1. (Metaph.) The opinion or doctrine that everything in nature, being the work of God, is ordered for the best, or that the ordering of things in the universe is such as to produce the highest good.

2. A disposition to take the most hopeful view; -- opposed to pessimism .

Optimist noun [ Confer French optimiste .]


1. (Metaph.) One who holds the opinion that all events are ordered for the best.

2. One who looks on the bright side of things, or takes hopeful views; -- opposed to pessimist .

Optimistic adjective
1. (Metaph.) Of or pertaining to optimism; tending, or conforming, to the opinion that all events are ordered for the best.

2. Hopeful; sanguine; as, an optimistic view.

Optimity noun [ Latin optimitas , from optimus the best.] The state of being best. [ R.] Bailey.

Option noun [ Latin optio ; akin to optare to choose, wish, optimus best, and perhaps to English apt : confer French option .]


1. The power of choosing; the right of choice or election; an alternative.

There is an option left to the United States of America, whether they will be respectable and prosperous, or contemptible and miserable, as a nation.
Washington.

2. The exercise of the power of choice; choice.

Transplantation must proceed from the option of the people, else it sounds like an exile.
Bacon.

3. A wishing; a wish. [ Obsolete] Bp. Hall.

4. (Ch. of Eng.) A right formerly belonging to an archbishop to select any one dignity or benefice in the gift of a suffragan bishop consecrated or confirmed by him, for bestowal by himself when next vacant; -- annulled by Parliament in 1845.

5. (Stock Exchange) A stipulated privilege, given to a party in a time contract, of demanding its fulfillment on any day within a specified limit.

Buyer's option , an option allowed to one who contracts to buy stocks at a certain future date and at a certain price, to demand the delivery of the stock (giving one day's notice) at any previous time at the market price. -- Seller's option , an option allowed to one who contracts to deliver stock art a certain price on a certain future date, to deliver it (giving one day's notice) at any previous time at the market price. Such options are privileges for which a consideration is paid. -- Local option . See under Local .

Syn. -- Choice; preference; selection. -- Option , Choice . Choice is an act of choosing; option often means liberty to choose, and implies freedom from constraint in the act of choosing.

Optional adjective Involving an option; depending on the exercise of an option; left to one's discretion or choice; not compulsory; as, optional studies; it is optional with you to go or stay. -- noun See Elective , noun

If to the former the movement was not optional , it was the same that the latter chose when it was optional .
Palfrey.

Original writs are either optional or peremptory.
Blackstone.

Optionally adverb In an optional manner.

Optocœle Op`to*cœ"li*a noun [ New Latin optocoelia , from Greek ... optic + koi^los a hollow.] (Anat.) The cavity of one of the optic lobes of the brain in many animals. B. G. Wilder.

Optogram noun [ Opt ic + - gram : confer French optogramme .] (Physiol.) An image of external objects fixed on the retina by the photochemical action of light on the visual purple. See Optography .

Optography noun [ Opt ic + -graphy .] (Physiol.) The production of an optogram on the retina by the photochemical action of light on the visual purple; the fixation of an image in the eye. The object so photographed shows white on a purple or red background. See Visual purple , under Visual .

Optometer noun [ Opt ic + -meter .] (Physiol.) An instrument for measuring the distance of distinct vision, mainly for the selection of eveglasses.

Optometrist noun One who is skilled in or practices optometry.

Optometry noun
1. (Medicine) Measurement of the range of vision, esp. by means of the optometer.

2. As defined (with minor variations) in the statutes of various States of the United States: (a) "The employment of subjective and objective mechanical means to determine the accomodative and refractive states of the eye and the scope of its function in general." (b) "The employment of any means, other than the use of drugs, for the measurement of the powers of vision and adaptation of lenses for the aid thereof."

Opulence noun [ Latin opulentia : confer French opulence . See Opulent .] Wealth; riches; affluence. Swift

Opulency noun See Opulence . Shak.

Opulent adjective [ Latin opulens , opulentus , from ops , opis , power, wealth, riches, perhaps akin to English apt : confer French opulent . Confer Copious , Couple , Office .] Having a large estate or property; wealthy; rich; affluent; as, an opulent city; an opulent citizen. -- Op"u*lent*ly , adverb

I will piece
Her opulent throne with kingdoms.
Shak.

Opuntia noun [ New Latin ] (Botany) A genus of cactaceous plants; the prickly pear, or Indian fig.

Opus noun ; plural Opera . [ Latin See Opera .] A work; specif. (Mus.) , a musical composition.

» Each composition, or set of pieces, as the composer may choose, is called an opus , and they are numbered in the order of their issue. (Often abbrev. to op.)

Opus incertum . [ Latin ] (Architecture) See under Incertum .

Opuscle, Opuscule noun [ Latin opusculum , dim. of opus work: confer French opuscule .] A small or petty work.

Opusculum noun ; plural Opuscula . [ Latin ] An opuscule. Smart.

Opye noun Opium. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Oquassa noun (Zoology) A small, handsome trout ( Salvelinus oquassa ), found in some of the lakes in Maine; -- called also blueback trout .

Or conj. [ Middle English or , outher , other , auther , either, or, Anglo-Saxon āw...er , contr. from āhwæ...er ; ā aye + hwæ...er whether. See Aye , and Whether , and confer Either .] A particle that marks an alternative; as, you may read or may write, -- that is, you may do one of the things at your pleasure, but not both. It corresponds to either . You may ride either to London or to Windsor. It often connects a series of words or propositions, presenting a choice of either; as, he may study law, or medicine, or divinity, or he may enter into trade.

If man's convenience, health,
Or safety interfere, his rights and claims
Are paramount.
Cowper.

» Or may be used to join as alternatives terms expressing unlike things or ideas (as, is the orange sour or sweet?), or different terms expressing the same thing or idea; as, this is a sphere, or globe.

» Or sometimes begins a sentence. In this case it expresses an alternative or subjoins a clause differing from the foregoing. " Or what man is there of you, who, if his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone?" Matt. vii. 9 (Rev. Ver. ).

Or for either is archaic or poetic.

Maugre thine heed, thou must for indigence
Or steal, or beg, or borrow thy dispence.
Chaucer.

Or preposition & adverb [ Anglo-Saxon ...r ere, before. √204. See Ere , preposition & adverb ] Ere; before; sooner than. [ Obsolete]

But natheless, while I have time and space,
Or that I forther in this tale pace.
Chaucer.

Or ever , Or ere . See under Ever , and Ere .

Or noun [ French, from Latin aurum gold. Confer Aureate .] (Her.) Yellow or gold color, -- represented in drawing or engraving by small dots.

Ora noun [ Anglo-Saxon See 2d Ore .] A money of account among the Anglo-Saxons, valued, in the Domesday Book, at twenty pence sterling.

Orabassu noun (Zoology) A South American monkey of the genus Callithrix , esp. C. Moloch.

Orach, Orache noun [ French arroche , corrupted from Latin atriplex , Greek .... Confer Arrach .] (Botany) A genus ( Atriplex ) of herbs or low shrubs of the Goosefoot family, most of them with a mealy surface.

Garden orache , a plant ( Atriplex hortensis ), often used as a pot herb; -- also called mountain spinach .

Oracle noun [ French, from Latin oraculum , from orare to speak, utter, pray, from os , oris , mouth. See Oral .]


1. The answer of a god, or some person reputed to be a god, to an inquiry respecting some affair or future event, as the success of an enterprise or battle.

Whatso'er she saith, for oracles must stand.
Drayton.

2. Hence: The deity who was supposed to give the answer; also, the place where it was given.

The oracles are dumb;
No voice or hideous hum
Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving.
Milton.

3. The communications, revelations, or messages delivered by God to the prophets; also, the entire sacred Scriptures -- usually in the plural.

The first principles of the oracles of God.
Hebrew v. 12.

4. (Jewish Antiq.) The sanctuary, or Most Holy place in the temple; also, the temple itself. 1 Kings vi. 19.

Siloa's brook, that flow'd
Fast by the oracle of God.
Milton.

5. One who communicates a divine command; an angel; a prophet.

God hath now sent his living oracle
Into the world to teach his final will.
Milton.

6. Any person reputed uncommonly wise; one whose decisions are regarded as of great authority; as, a literary oracle . " Oracles of mode." Tennyson.

The country rectors . . . thought him an oracle on points of learning.
Macaulay.

7. A wise sentence or decision of great authority.

Oracle intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Oracled ; present participle & verbal noun Oracling .] To utter oracles. [ Obsolete]

Oracular adjective [ Latin oracularius . See Oracle .]


1. Of or pertaining to an oracle; uttering oracles; forecasting the future; as, an oracular tongue.

2. Resembling an oracle in some way, as in solemnity, wisdom, authority, obscurity, ambiguity, dogmatism.

They have something venerable and oracular in that unadorned gravity and shortness in the expression.
Pope.

-- O*rac"u*lar*ly , adverb -- O*rac"u*lar*ness , noun

Oraculous adjective Oracular; of the nature of an oracle. [ R.] "Equivocations, or oraculous speeches." Bacon. "The oraculous seer." Pope. -- O*rac"u*lous*ly , adverb -- O*rac"u*lous*ness , noun

Oragious adjective [ French orageux .] Stormy. [ R.]

Oraison noun See Orison . [ Obsolete] Shak.

Oral adjective [ Latin os , oris , the mouth, akin to Sanskrit ās . Confer Adore , Orison , Usher .]
1. Uttered by the mouth, or in words; spoken, not written; verbal; as, oral traditions; oral testimony; oral law.

2. Of or pertaining to the mouth; surrounding or lining the mouth; as, oral cilia or cirri.

Orally adverb
1. In an oral manner. Tillotson.

2. By, with, or in, the mouth; as, to receive the sacrament orally . [ Obsolete] Usher.

Orang noun (Zoology) See Orang-outang .

Orange noun [ F.; confer Italian arancia , arancio , Late Latin arangia , Spanish naranjia , Portuguese laranja ; all from Arabic nāranj , Persian nāranj , nārang ; confer Sanskrit nāranga orange tree. The o- in French orange is due to confusion with or gold, Latin aurum , because the orange resembles gold in color.]


1. The fruit of a tree of the genus Citrus ( C. Aurantium ). It is usually round, and consists of pulpy carpels, commonly ten in number, inclosed in a leathery rind, which is easily separable, and is reddish yellow when ripe.

» There are numerous varieties of oranges; as, the bitter orange , which is supposed to be the original stock; the navel orange , which has the rudiment of a second orange imbedded in the top of the fruit; the blood orange , with a reddish juice; and the horned orange , in which the carpels are partly separated.

2. (Botany) The tree that bears oranges; the orange tree.

3. The color of an orange; reddish yellow.

Mandarin orange . See Mandarin . - - Mock orange (Botany) , any species of shrubs of the genus Philadelphus , which have whitish and often fragrant blossoms. -- Native orange , or Orange thorn (Botany) , an Australian shrub ( Citriobatus parviflorus ); also, its edible yellow berries. -- Orange bird (Zoology) , a tanager of Jamaica ( Tanagra zena ); -- so called from its bright orange breast. -- Orange cowry (Zoology) , a large, handsome cowry ( Cypræa aurantia ), highly valued by collectors of shells on account of its rarity. -- Orange grass (Botany) , an inconspicuous annual American plant ( Hypericum Sarothra ), having minute, deep yellow flowers. -- Orange oil (Chemistry) , an oily, terpenelike substance obtained from orange rind, and distinct from neroli oil, which is obtained from the flowers. -- Orange pekoe , a kind of black tea. -- Orange pippin , an orange-colored apple with acid flavor. -- Quito orange , the orangelike fruit of a shrubby species of nightshade ( Solanum Quitoense ), native in Quito. -- Orange scale (Zoology) any species of scale insects which infests orange trees; especially, the purple scale ( Mytilaspis citricola ), the long scale ( M. Gloveri ), and the red scale ( Aspidiotus Aurantii ).

Orange adjective Of or pertaining to an orange; of the color of an orange; reddish yellow; as, an orange ribbon .

Orangeade noun [ French, from orange .] A drink made of orange juice and water, corresponding to lemonade ; orange sherbet.