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 asa : a variegated changing pattern or scene a kaleidoscope of colorsb : a succession of changing phases or actions a kaleidoscope of changing fashionsc : a diverse collection
kaleidoscopicplay \kə-ˌlī-də-ˈskä-pik\ adjective
kaleidoscopicallyplay \kə-ˌlī-də-ˈskä-pi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
Examples of kaleidoscope in a sentence
The landscape was a kaleidoscope of changing colors.
Origin and Etymology of kaleidoscope
Greek kalos beautiful + eidos form + English -scope — more at idyll
First Known Use: 1817
KALEIDOSCOPE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of kaleidoscope for English Language Learners
: 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
KALEIDOSCOPE Defined for Kids
Definition of kaleidoscope for Students
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
History for 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).
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up kaleidoscope? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).