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

Psychedelic artist Isaac Abrams and his son, Raphael, designed a light show for the Kaatskill Kaleidoscope, the world’s largest kaleidoscope, in a 56-foot-round silo at the Emerson Resort & Spa in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Lynn Freehill-maye, WSJ, "Grain Silos: From Empty Relics to Cultural Landmarks and Luxury Hotels," 29 Aug. 2018 Our second lunch, at Neiman Marcus NorthPark, beckons, and that’s where my sense memory kicks in: the kaleidoscope of seemingly endless possibilities, that hallmark of feeling young. Alex Witchel, Town & Country, "The Best Department Stores Are All Opening Restaurants," 25 Feb. 2019 The performances unfolded like a musical kaleidoscope of some of opera’s greatest hits; many of which opera novices could even recall. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Opera Divas and Debutantes: Inside the 64th Annual Viennese Opera Ball," 5 Feb. 2019 The rule-breaking styling trick first started bubbling up on the runway a couple of years ago with brands such as Balenciaga, Celine, and Saint Laurent all proposing strappy sandals with a kaleidoscope of colorful hosiery. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Lily-Rose Depp Pulls a Fashion Faux Pas on the Red Carpet—and Wins," 18 Dec. 2018 My senses were blasted with a kaleidoscope of colorful, curving, intricate forms; evidence of Mackintosh’s fascination with nature, symbolism and mysticism. Sam Lubell, New York Times, "A Glasgow Architect’s Masterpiece Is Damaged, but Not His Magic," 2 July 2018 The video shows the pair first in a classic home-video setting before transporting their moves to the streets of Burbank, California (through a very timely kaleidoscope transition). Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "Teenage Noah Centineo Dressed Up as Batman and Danced to Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend"," 18 Dec. 2018 Singer Junglepussy wasn’t too far behind in an eye-popping, kaleidoscope top by up-and-coming British label Asai. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "The 16 Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week: Junglepussy, Gucci Mane, and More," 20 Oct. 2018 The neon paint, Caribbean scenery, brightly colored bikinis, and kaleidoscope beach party all reflect the singer's distinct and playful attitude. Kadeen Griffiths, Seventeen, "Check Out Nicki Minaj's 'Starships' Music Video!," 27 Apr. 2012

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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Statistics for kaleidoscope

Last Updated

1 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for kaleidoscope

The first known use of kaleidoscope was in 1817

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More Definitions for kaleidoscope



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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Comments on kaleidoscope

What made you want to look up kaleidoscope? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

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