panopticon

noun
pan·​op·​ti·​con | \ pə-ˈnäp-ti-ˌkän How to pronounce panopticon (audio) , pa- \
plural panopticons

Definition of panopticon

1 : an optical instrument combining the telescope and microscope
2 : a circular prison built with cells arranged radially so that a guard at a central position can see all the prisoners

First Known Use of panopticon

1742, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of panopticon was in 1742

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Cite this Entry

“Panopticon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/panopticon. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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