magic lantern


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

Examples of magic lantern in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For his 1950 film Rabbit’s Moon (not completed and released until 1971), Anger used an 18th century magic lantern from the Cinematheque’s collection and 35mm film stock left over from an UNESCO shoot in Paris. Rhett Bartlett, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 May 2023 Reading a comic book as God intended is a simple pleasure and as such, our precious pictorial pamphlet, like vaudeville and the magic lantern, is just the sort of thing that gets crushed in the gears of progress. Ed Park, The New York Review of Books, 14 Mar. 2023 Starting in the late 1800s and continuing well into the next century, New York newspapers used a vast array of floodlights, magic lantern displays, stereopticon projections, and other dazzling visual pyrotechnics to announce results on election night. Mike Conway, The Conversation, 3 Nov. 2020 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'magic lantern.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

magic lantern

: an early type of slide projector
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