magic lantern


: an early form of optical projector of still pictures using a transparent slide

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web As technology progressed, the magic lantern, an early projector prototype, emerged that used pictures and paintings. Cheryl Robinson, Forbes, 11 June 2021 Follow the magic lantern to the hottest Bedouin bar west of the Sahara Desert to chill, drink and dance. Lisa Herendeen, The Mercury News, 5 Aug. 2019 The Museum of Fine Art’s has created its own phantasmagoria, an early 19th-century entertainment for thrill-seekers featuring hair-raising sounds and moving images cast by magic lanterns., 16 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'magic lantern.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1696, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of magic lantern was in 1696

Dictionary Entries Near magic lantern

Cite this Entry

“Magic lantern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

magic lantern

: an early type of slide projector
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?