Definition of collimate in English:


See synonyms for collimate on

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Make (rays of light or particles) accurately parallel.

    ‘the cesium atoms are collimated into a narrow beam’
    • ‘The TPIAL emits a highly collimated beam of infrared light for precision aiming, as well as a separate infrared illumination beam with adjustable focus.’
    • ‘The excitation and transmitted light is collimated by a set of focusing lenses on either side of the sample chamber.’
    • ‘The first and second lenses operate jointly to concentrate and collimate the incident light beam.’
    • ‘The scattered light is collimated, and simultaneously detected by a fixed array of 18 transimpedance photodiodes, which span an angular region from 22.5 [degrees] to 147 [degrees].’
    • ‘Once you can gather up and collimate the light coming from an LED, you can use binary optical elements - holographic diffusers - to take that round, highly collimated beam and put it out into designer patterns.’
    1. 1.1Accurately align (an optical or other system)
      ‘manuals give detailed instructions for collimating the optics’
      • ‘I have done this many times while collimating a telescope's optical alignment and checking for the circular diffraction rings that occur at the same distance in and out of focus.’
      • ‘Our SBC cavity incorporates a single collimating lens located a focal length away from a 1 - D array of laser emitters operating at different wavelengths, with the grating positioned another focal length away on the other side of the lens.’
      • ‘The helicopter's weapon sighting system is the PKV collimating sight.’
      • ‘In comparison, in a collimated system the peak wavelength varies across the FOV of the etalon filter according to = / 2n.’
      • ‘The most common method for measuring retardance and fast-axis orientation involves placing two linear polarizers with horizontally aligned axes between a collimated optical source and a detector.’
      adjust, regulate, synchronize, coordinate, harmonize



/ˈkäləˌmāt/ /ˈkɑləˌmeɪt/


Mid 19th century from Latin collimare, an erroneous reading (in some editions of Cicero) of collineare ‘align or aim’, from col- ‘together with’ + linea ‘line’.