1. An arrangement of lenses or mirrors or both that gathers light, permitting direct observation or photographic recording of distant objects.
2. Any of various devices, such as a radio telescope, used to detect and observe distant objects by their emission, absorption, or reflection of electromagnetic radiation.
v. tel·e·scoped, tel·e·scop·ing, tel·e·scopes
1. To cause to slide inward or outward in overlapping sections, as the cylindrical sections of a small hand telescope do.
2. To make more compact or concise; condense.
To slide inward or outward in or as if in overlapping cylindrical sections: a camp bucket that telescopes into a disk.
[New Latin telescopium or Italian telescopio, both from Greek tēleskopos, far-seeing : tēle-, tele- + skopos, watcher; see spek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.