phan·​tas·​ma·​go·​ria | \ (ˌ)fan-ˌtaz-mə-ˈgȯr-ē-ə How to pronounce phantasmagoria (audio) \

Definition of phantasmagoria

1 : an exhibition of optical effects and illusions
2a : a constantly shifting complex succession of things seen or imagined
b : a scene that constantly changes
3 : a bizarre or fantastic combination, collection, or assemblage

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Other Words from phantasmagoria

phantasmagoric \ (ˌ)fan-​ˌtaz-​mə-​ˈgȯr-​ik How to pronounce phantasmagoric (audio) , -​ˈgär-​ \ or phantasmagorical \ (ˌ)fan-​ˌtaz-​mə-​ˈgȯr-​i-​kəl How to pronounce phantasmagorical (audio) , -​ˈgär-​ \ adjective

Examples of phantasmagoria in a Sentence

He saw a phantasmagoria of shadowy creatures through the fog.

Recent Examples on the Web

Several theater companies have embraced Act III’s blend of philosophical phantasmagoria and staged it on its own; others have jettisoned it and zipped ahead to the fourth and final act. Eric Grode, New York Times, "George Bernard Shaw’s 6-Hour ‘Beast’? She’s All In," 19 Aug. 2019 Donald Trump – gaudy real-estate brander, reality-show star, educational huckster – has been in the glare just as long (as Clinton), but as a bit player in the national phantasmagoria. Phillip Morris,, "Trump’s tweet about congresswomen offers America a dangerous glimpse of itself: Philip Morris," 21 July 2019 From students to engineers, serial entrepreneurs to singers and lawmakers, the wave of violence continues to leave behind a phantasmagoria of horror, misery, and anger. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "A journalist returned to Somalia to tell positive stories—then terrorists killed her," 15 July 2019 The old man braves a nocturnal phantasmagoria of three-hooved horses, zombies with leafy heads, a demoness toting souls in an oxcart. New York Times, "Fleeing a Caribbean Plantation Into a Mythic Wilderness," 27 June 2018 The genius of Thomson and Stein was to create a phantasmagoria around Susan B. Anthony and her slightly transgressive world. Mark Swed,, "Before ‘Hamilton,’ 100 years of American music theater and how it’s told the story of who we are," 29 June 2018 But the fact that the Trump Show has remained a 24-hour phantasmagoria, while the Trump administration has learned the subtle arts of bureaucracy, has meant that the two are increasingly independent — with the former overshadowing the latter. Dara Lind, Vox, "How Trump’s travel ban became normal," 27 Apr. 2018 The modern stadium is a phantasmagoria of viewing technology—massive monitors hang above the floor and decorate seating tiers like bunting. Sharon Weinberger, Popular Mechanics, "How ESPN Taught the Pentagon to Handle a Deluge of Drone Data," 11 June 2012 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., "The Ticket: What’s happening in the local arts world," 16 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phantasmagoria.' 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 phantasmagoria

circa 1802, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for phantasmagoria

French phantasmagorie, from phantasme phantasm (from Old French fantasme) + -agorie (perhaps from Greek agora assembly) — more at agora

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Statistics for phantasmagoria

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for phantasmagoria

The first known use of phantasmagoria was circa 1802

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More Definitions for phantasmagoria



English Language Learners Definition of phantasmagoria

literary : a confusing or strange scene that is like a dream because it is always changing in an odd way

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formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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