Definition of panoptic
: being or presenting a comprehensive or panoramic view <a panoptic view of the city>
Did You Know?
The establishment of panoptic in the English language can be attributed to two inventions known as panopticons. The more well-known panopticon was conceived by the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham in 1787. Bentham’s panopticon was a circular prison with cells arranged around a central tower from which guards could see the inmates at all times. The other panopticon, also created in the 18th century, was a device containing pictures of attractions, such as European capitals, that people viewed through an opening. Considering the views that both inventions gave, it is not hard to see why panoptic (a word derived from Greek panoptēs, meaning "all-seeing") was being used by the early 19th century.
Origin and Etymology of panoptic
Greek panoptēs all-seeing, from pan- + opsesthai to be going to see — more at optic
First Known Use: 1826
Medical Definition of panoptic
: permitting everything to be seen <microscopic study of tissues treated with a panoptic stain>
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