from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having two focal lengths.
  • adj. Having one section that corrects for distant vision and another that corrects for near vision, as an eyeglass lens.
  • adj. Embodying two distinct and often conflicting goals, interests, or courses of action: "a smoothly functioning bifocal mind” ( John McPhee). "A bifocal monetary policy . . . has kept one eye on the money supply and the other on interest rates” ( Edward Meadows).
  • Eyeglasses with bifocal lenses.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having two focal lengths
  • adj. Divided into two parts, one of which corrects for distance vision and the other for near vision

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having two foci, as some spectacle lenses.
  • n. a bifocal lens.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having two foci.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. having two foci


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • He produced other inventions as well, such as bifocal eyeglasses and the efficient Franklin stove.

    Franklin, Benjamin

  • No intermediate lenses but u get optimal distance correction as well as reading. .and u will also look younger with them glasses as they don't have the telltale "bifocal" line.

    Home Theater Forum

  • If not, then you got something "off the rack", and it may just be that the "bifocal" part covers more of the lens than necessary.

    Home Theater Forum

  • I've got progressive bifocals, and the "bifocal" part occupies

    Home Theater Forum

  • (progressive or otherwise) wherein the "bifocal" part occupied the entire bottom half of the lens, and they swore they'd never go back to bifocals again.

    Home Theater Forum

  • I've got progressive bifocals, and the "bifocal" part occupies a small semi-circular region at the bottom of the lens, and I have clear vision throughout the rest of the lens for distant objects (no "sweep spot).

    Home Theater Forum

  • Pastor White is fifty-something with receding brown hair that he combs straight back, and wears large bifocal glasses that cover half his bearded face.

    American Grace

  • Watch Your Step Dr. Auerbach notes that wearing bifocal glasses to correct the classic over-50 vision issue—presbyopia, or the inability to focus on objects nearby—can lead to stumbles and falls; the lower part of the glasses, meant for reading, can blur the image down at your feet.

    Remedies for the Road

  • Our leaders must become bifocal, if not bipartisan.

    Ed Crego, George Muñoz and Frank Islam: The Need for Austerity and Audacity

  • And now at this point, we can actually do such detailed design so that we could actually do a full, what's called a progressive lens and no-line bifocal, to cut multiple curves on the back of a lens now to actually a full, no-line bifocal on the back of a lens.

    Ira Asks: How Are Eyeglasses Made?


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.