Pronounced: ahk-LAHK-ruh-see, noun

Notes: I keep seeing “och-” and thinking it has something to do with eight (but no)

Yesterday’s word

The word collimate means “to make parallel” (usually refers to light rays)

First usage

The word came into English in the early 1600s

Background / Notes

I have heard of this word relating to lasers, but was uncertain of the meaning. The word has an interesting background. The word comes from the Latin collimare, but that word is a misreading / corruption of collineare (to direct in a straight line). (I can see the ‘n’ and ‘e’ getting pushed together and looking like an ‘m’). Roman statesmen and scholars used the incorrect word (collimare), and the error was picked up by Johannes Kepler (who wrote in Latin). And thus, the incorrect word collimare came into English as our word; in theory, the word should have been ‘collineate’.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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