Definitions

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

  • n. A pair of eyeglasses or opera glasses with a short handle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An opera glass with a handle.
  • n. Elaborate double eyeglasses.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An opera glass.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An opera-glass.
  • n. A lorgnon.

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

  • n. eyeglasses that are held to the eyes with a long handle

Etymologies

French, from lorgner, to peer at, from Old French, from lorgne, squinting, of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French lorgner ("to take a sidelong look at") (from Middle French lorgne ("crosseyed")) + -ette (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Behind the lorgnette was a large and frowning dowager, who followed up the glare with a loud "Shhh!"

    An Unacceptable Offer

  • "lorgnette" that had been handed to them was a new invention of Thomas A. Edison.

    newsleader.com -

  • Lalique's flora and fauna are everywhere—nude feminine figures with insect wings on a necklace, a lizard lorgnette, an ivy and clover hatpin, swans here, wheat sheaves there, a pair of white peacocks with multicolor tails standing on a heart-shaped citrine.

    A Display of Lalique's Beauty

  • “The funny mistress of five or six accents,” Jane regaled them all with the story of her dinner party, successively taking the part of a lecherous old Oxonian who was trying to pinch her bottom, a drunk Ceylonese official, and a dry old colonial widow with a lorgnette.

    A Covert Affair

  • A woman behind me taps me on the shoulder with her lorgnette—out of tempo, by the way—and my new friend and I break it off as the curtain comes up.

    Thoughts on Culture at the Boston Ballet

  • Sotheby 's (Nov. 14) will lead its sale with jeweled pieces made for the Chinese and Turkish markets in the 18th-19th century, including a rare gold, enamel diamond and pearl-set lorgnette watch circa 1810 (estimate: 150,000 francs-200,000 francs).

    Celebrating Rare Jewels

  • This was a person … of a particular kind, no longer young … with rather long, still thick, dark hair, slightly streaked with grey and a pointed beard … He had no watch, but he had a tortoiseshell lorgnette on a black ribbon.

    The 10 best devils

  • I think she thought that Joan would look at her through a lorgnette, and that Stenning would wear a morning-coat and talk about the League.

    Movie Night

  • Moreover, it was holding a small metallic rod rather like a lorgnette against one eye.

    Tin

  • This haunting imaginary portrait of a bust-length mustachioed bravo topped with a fanciful green hat and caparisoned in a black-patterned red cloak and white ruff is dominated by one coal-black eye thickly encircled in poker-hot orange, which juts downward like the handle of a lorgnette.

    The Late Show

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