One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Relating to observation in shade or the dark. Chiefly (now only) in "scioptric ball"noun a ball of wood with a hole made through the centre in which a lens or pair of lenses is placed, as used in a camera obscura. Now historical.
A camera obscura employing a scioptric ball. Usually in plural Now historical.
Late 17th century. From scio- + -optric. Compare scioptic, scioptic.
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