phan·​tas·​ma·​go·​ria | \(ˌ)fan-ˌtaz-mə-ˈgȯr-ē-ə \

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, -​ˈgär-​ \ or phantasmagorical \(ˌ)fan-​ˌtaz-​mə-​ˈgȯr-​i-​kəl, -​ˈgär-​ \ adjective

Examples of phantasmagoria in a Sentence

He saw a phantasmagoria of shadowy creatures through the fog.

Recent Examples on the Web

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 What follows is a phantasmagoria that is more cheesy than transporting. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘A Wrinkle in Time’ is more cheesy than transporting," 9 Mar. 2018 Brendan Duffy’s second book mingles horror, historical fiction, supernatural suspense and old-fashioned murder mystery, the rare phantasmagoria whose pieces click into a satisfying resolution. Charles Finch, USA TODAY, "Four tantalizing new mysteries to keep you inside this winter," 11 Feb. 2018 Enter the daughters of the Major General (a theatrically crisp Matt Kahler) in a frolicsome phantasmagoria of nubile beauty. Charles Mcnulty,, "'Pirates of Penzance,' with a piña colada: Gilbert & Sullivan plays as interactive party," 26 Jan. 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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Time Traveler for phantasmagoria

The first known use of phantasmagoria was circa 1802

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English Language Learners Definition of phantasmagoria

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

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to enclose within walls

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