February 22, 2013
retina (noun)
\RET-uh-nuh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: the light-sensitive nerve membrane lining the back of the eye that receives images formed by the lens and is connected with the brain by the optic nerve
How do you use it?
If you look straight at the sun, you could injure your retinas.
Are you a word wiz?

Your retina is the part of your eye that receives the images you see. What do you think was being seen around the time that "retina" first came into English?

The way we see it, the right answer is C! Though we tend to think of the study of human anatomy as being recent, it goes back hundreds of years. Evidence shows that the earliest uses of "retina" appeared around the year 1400. "Retina" was coined to describe the membrane at the back of the eye that "catches" light and translates it into images. In fact, we think the word "retina" may come from the earlier Latin word "rete," meaning "net."
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