ka·​lei·​do·​scope | \ kə-ˈlī-də-ˌskōp How to pronounce kaleidoscope (audio) \

Definition of kaleidoscope

1 : an instrument containing loose bits of colored material (such 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
2 : something resembling a kaleidoscope: such 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

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Other Words from kaleidoscope

kaleidoscopic \ kə-​ˌlī-​də-​ˈskä-​pik How to pronounce kaleidoscopic (audio) \ adjective
kaleidoscopically \ kə-​ˌlī-​də-​ˈskä-​pi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce kaleidoscopically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of kaleidoscope in a Sentence

The landscape was a kaleidoscope of changing colors.
Recent Examples on the Web This kaleidoscope tale of an umbrella shop owner’s daughter and her love for a garage mechanic is a lush, unorthodox musical. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "How Criterion Channel can give you the perfect film-school education in quarantine," 17 Apr. 2020 The longer wavelengths of infrared light slide between particles, piercing all but the densest plumes of gas and dust inside the pillars, to reveal a sparkling kaleidoscope of stars within. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "'Pillars of Creation' Remains Universe's No. 1 Tourist Attraction," 14 Apr. 2020 Though many of the key characters in Aldridge Garden’s story are no longer knee deep in soil, their legacies still bloom year after year, producing a kaleidoscope of colors that locals have grown to love and adore. Sarah Cook Mcbride, al, "Aldridge Gardens builds on a legacy of family gardening," 8 Apr. 2020 Empire State Building Check out the ever changing kaleidoscope of colors and light that is the New York city skyline via the Empire State Building on its Earthcam. Alex Erdekian, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Enjoy NYC’s Biggest Cultural Institutions from Home," 3 Apr. 2020 Readers are able to glean a glimmer of the humanity that is forged when a city is halted by the unusual in this tale told from a kaleidoscope of perspectives. Erin Coulehan, Teen Vogue, "8 Books to Crack Open While Society Closes Down Because of Coronavirus," 16 Mar. 2020 At the heart of this defensive mental kaleidoscope stood Edith, her love for me and mine for her. Peter Ford, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘Left with my thoughts’: How our reporter fought the coronavirus," 1 May 2020 The more abundant eastern monarchs, which spend their winters in Mexico, are famous for covering whole sections of forest in a kaleidoscope of color. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Slim hope for monarch butterflies — population holds steady this season," 23 Jan. 2020 In between those two Fort Stage highlights came a kaleidoscope of others. Bill Beuttler, BostonGlobe.com, "At Newport Jazz Festival: homages, hip-hop, and everything in between," 5 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kaleidoscope.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of kaleidoscope

1817, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for kaleidoscope

Greek kalos beautiful + eidos form + English -scope — more at idyll

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Time Traveler for kaleidoscope

Time Traveler

The first known use of kaleidoscope was in 1817

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Statistics for kaleidoscope

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kaleidoscope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kaleidoscope. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for kaleidoscope


How to pronounce kaleidoscope (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of kaleidoscope

: 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


ka·​lei·​do·​scope | \ kə-ˈlī-də-skōp How to pronounce kaleidoscope (audio) \

Kids Definition of kaleidoscope

1 : 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
2 : a changing pattern or scene

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