noun ka·lei·do·scope \kə-ˈlī-də-ˌskōp\

: a tube that has mirrors and loose pieces of colored glass or plastic inside at one end so that you see many different patterns when you turn the tube while looking in through the other end

: a changing pattern or scene

: a mixture of many different things

Full Definition of KALEIDOSCOPE

:  an instrument containing loose bits of colored material (as glass or plastic) between two flat plates and two plane mirrors so placed that changes of position of the bits of material are reflected in an endless variety of patterns
:  something resembling a kaleidoscope: as
a :  a variegated changing pattern or scene <a kaleidoscope of colors>
b :  a succession of changing phases or actions <a kaleidoscope of changing fashions>
c :  a diverse collection
ka·lei·do·scop·ic \-ˌlī-də-ˈskä-pik\ adjective
ka·lei·do·scop·i·cal·ly \-pi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb


  1. The landscape was a kaleidoscope of changing colors.


Greek kalos beautiful + eidos form + English -scope — more at idyll
First Known Use: 1817

Other Game Terms

bezique, carom, convention, crap, euchre, gambit, monte, parlay, tierce
KALEIDOSCOPE Defined for Kids


noun ka·lei·do·scope \kə-ˈlī-də-skōp\

Definition of KALEIDOSCOPE for Kids

:  a tube that contains bits of colored glass or plastic and two mirrors at one end and that shows many different patterns as it is turned
:  a changing pattern or scene

Word History of KALEIDOSCOPE

If you look into a kaleidoscope you will see changing shapes and pretty colors. The name of the device may seem strange, but it will make sense to a person who knows Greek. Kaleidoscope was made up out of two Greek words, kalos, beautiful, and eidos, shape. Added to those is the English word-forming element -scope, something for viewing (itself from a Greek element -skopion).


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