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 The food at Prubechu is a kaleidoscope: Your eyes will notice patterns, even if the shape isn’t familiar. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "Prubechu’s Guamanian cuisine is multifaceted and complicated," 13 Feb. 2020 The results are a kaleidoscope of joyful colors and prints complete with Jacobs’s signature wink. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Why Marc Jacobs Was 2019’s Ultimate Instagram Fashion Influencer," 27 Dec. 2019 My kids have lessons on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays, so those meals are an ever-changing kaleidoscope of people and ingredients. Cara Rosenbloom, Washington Post, "Seven research-backed tips to make the most of family meals, no matter how often they happen," 20 Nov. 2019 The best film in Malick’s post-Tree of Life wandering period was Knight of Cups, which cut six or seven love affairs into a tight two-hour kaleidoscope of elemental imagery, SoCal tripping from beach across freeways to studio lots and the desert. Darren Franich, EW.com, "A Hidden Life is the full Terrence Malick experience, vital even when it's glacial: Review," 12 Dec. 2019 From religious monuments, beaches, film sets and mind-boggling slums made infamous by global reportage, Maximum City is a kaleidoscope of varied and unique experiences. Anuj Puri, Quartz India, "In the Delhi versus Mumbai real estate debate, there’s no easy answer," 19 Dec. 2019 That would instantly shake Germany’s political kaleidoscope. The Economist, "Post-Merkel syndrome," 28 Nov. 2019 Uncrowded above the waves, down under is busy with a kaleidoscope of barracuda, parrotfish and squid that hang out towards the inlet. Melanie Refffes, USA TODAY, "Shh! These are the best secret beaches in the Caribbean," 25 Nov. 2019 Witness this season’s mind-bending Sarawak cakes, which hail from Malaysia and involving baking multilayered and -colored cakes that are cut and reassembled into kaleidoscope patterns. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "Three seasons into a cast shake-up, ‘The Great British Baking Show’ is about as sweet as ever," 1 Nov. 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

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kaleidoscope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kaleidoscope. Accessed 26 Feb. 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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