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

Other Words from kaleidoscope

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

Examples of kaleidoscope in a Sentence

The landscape was a kaleidoscope of changing colors.
Recent Examples on the Web The result is a puzzlelike kaleidoscope of shapes and sizes. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, 23 June 2022 Elsewhere in the restaurant, Roger Vivier confections were on display and every place setting was set with an antique kaleidoscope. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 16 June 2022 Featuring masterpieces of art and nature, surprising silhouettes and an endless kaleidoscope of colors and textures that inspire, Frederik Meijer offers an array of outdoor and indoor sculpture and nature exhibits, per its website. Alec Brzezinski, Detroit Free Press, 28 May 2022 Mei Kawajiri is known for outré, over-the-top nail art; Call it a kaleidoscope for the fingertips. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 20 May 2022 Upstairs the various rooms all flow into each other, a kaleidoscope of books. Daniel Scheffler, SPIN, 4 May 2022 Our varied habitat of ocean, shoreline and bays, inland lakes, foothills, pine mountains and desert offer a kaleidoscope of both resident and seasonal visitors numbering over 500 species. San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Apr. 2022 One of the most popular materials to use is sawdust, purchased from local sawmills or carpentry shops and dyed a kaleidoscope of different hues, including blues, purples, reds, oranges and greens. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Apr. 2022 One of the area's most popular destinations is Positano, thanks to its numerous dining options and captivating kaleidoscope of colorful buildings. Christina Liao, Travel + Leisure, 11 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About kaleidoscope

Time Traveler for kaleidoscope

Time Traveler

The first known use of kaleidoscope was in 1817

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near kaleidoscope




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for kaleidoscope

Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Kaleidoscope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kaleidoscope. Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for kaleidoscope


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


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!