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A Word A Day — lenticular

October 10, 2012

Word of the Day

  • lenticular
  • audio pronunciation
  • \len-TIK-yuh-ler\


: having the shape of a double-convex lens
: of or relating to a lens
: provided with or utilizing lenticules

Amateur astronomers might be interested in what the observatory markets as the “largest lenticular telescope on Earth.”

“Recently installed in the tunnel was a lenticular motion mural consisting of 135 individual 8-inch tiles with ribbed lenses created by world renowned Boston artist Rufus Butler Seder.” — From an article by N. Kirsch in the Belleville News-Democrat (Illinois), June 24, 2012


“Lentil-shaped”—that's the meaning of “lenticularis,” the Latin word that gave us today's word. It's an appropriate predecessor because a double-convex lens is one that is curved on both sides, giving it a shape similar to that of a lentil. English speakers borrowed the Latin term, adapting it to “lenticular,” in the 15th century. “Lenticularis,” in turn, derives from “lenticula,” which is the source of the English word “lentil” and a diminutive of the Latin form “lent-, lens,” meaning “lentil.” You probably won't be too surprised to learn that “lent-, lens” also gave English the word “lens.”

From Merriam-Webster Online at

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