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.
Recent Examples of kaleidoscope from the Web
But its middle-income suburbs are rapidly becoming a kaleidoscope in which no majority exists, a sign of where much of America is headed.
Shoes came in a kaleidoscope of hues, some with telltale red soles.
A kaleidoscope of packages, jars and produce from nearly every continent is jammed in — side by side are purple yams from Laos, green plantains from Ecuador, mahogany-brown cassava from Nigeria, tan egg roll wrappers from Vietnam.
With a few apps and clever editing, the series is like seeing a city street through a kaleidoscope (or after a wild night of drinking).
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.
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).
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