Definition of kaleidoscope in US English:



  • 1A toy consisting of a tube containing mirrors and pieces of colored glass or paper, whose reflections produce changing patterns that are visible through an eyehole when the tube is rotated.

    • ‘Our unique kaleidoscopes are bursting with bright colors and intricate patterns.’
    • ‘Their collecting began as something simple: Karen took a stained glass art class and made a kaleidoscope.’
    • ‘Our projects will include building kaleidoscopes and telescopes, experimenting with UV and IR light, and arranging mirrors so that a laser shines on a predetermined spot.’
    • ‘Perhaps his best-known legacy is his work on the mathematics of kaleidoscopes, including those operating in higher dimensions.’
    • ‘The three mirrors in the kaleidoscope are what provides the dance of ministry pieces and programs.’
    • ‘To further the inherent fascination of kaleidoscopes, the Museum is offering children's programs where kids can make their own visual creations with the assistance of a Gallery Guide.’
    • ‘As a result, she says, ‘There is never a week where I don't get one to three new kaleidoscopes.’
    • ‘She organized the first American exhibition of kaleidoscopes at Strathmore Hall Art Center in Rockville, Md., the year her book came out.’
    • ‘She has a passion for kaleidoscopes, and here she's seen with several of her creations.’
    • ‘It was like a kaleidoscope but definitely the strangest kaleidoscope she had ever seen.’
    • ‘Right now she's attempting to make a kaleidoscope from an empty toilet paper tube, beads, rubber bands, some wax paper and Saran wrap.’
    • ‘THE FRAGMENTS BEGIN to come together, like the slowly forming pattern of a kaleidoscope.’
    • ‘From this refraction comes her art, where in parts she draws on mystical themes and turns them, rather like using a kaleidoscope, into patterns and associations entirely her own.’
    • ‘They should be allowed to choose to construct either of the kaleidoscopes described below, based upon whatever materials are most readily available to them.’
    • ‘When he next opened them, he was behind an electric kaleidoscope or a card of faceted glass.’
    • ‘From the reflection of grains of sand and crystals in tubes through to the advances of computers, kaleidoscopes have always been truly beautiful and even puzzling.’
    • ‘But lovers of kaleidoscopes, Rubik's cubes, and jigsaw and other puzzles should have a field day.’
    • ‘A list of galleries where the kaleidoscopes can be found is also available.’
    • ‘Is it a kaleidoscope that catches patterns at angles?’
    • ‘Cornelius mashes sounds together like a child shaking a kaleidoscope mashes colours, but with a deliberation and precision that refute chaos.’
    1. 1.1 A constantly changing pattern or sequence of objects or elements.
      ‘the dancers moved in a kaleidoscope of color’
      • ‘The exhibition highlights the many unique art styles practised in Nimbin, and walking into the gallery one is instantly drawn to the kaleidoscope of beautiful and interesting pieces.’
      • ‘Up to this point, the only material to have been discussed has been rock crystal, but the rock crystal pieces were complemented by a positive kaleidoscope of coloured hardstones.’
      • ‘Wild flowers crowd your vision - a dazzling kaleidoscope of colour against an olive green background.’
      • ‘Bewilderment and helplessness and dismay mingled strangely, played out in a clashing kaleidoscope, vivid against the colourlessness of everything else.’
      • ‘You present a sliver, a little glass piece of the kaleidoscope, a tiny little prism, in which you may see the greater war, but you may not.’
      • ‘The vast range of anemone species at the edge of the channel was splashed in an astounding kaleidoscope of colours including velvety purple, red, and orange.’
      • ‘But I am suddenly achingly aware of the kaleidoscope of people in the world, the jigsaw puzzle pieces of people in existence that joined could make an infinite number of pictures.’
      • ‘Tonight while driving down Sydney Rd, I took off my glasses at a red light to polish them, and the world suddenly sprang into a vivid kaleidoscope of coloured spangles.’
      • ‘A virtual kaleidoscope of colour inundate not only the standing piles, but also overrun old fallen timbers that overlap, forming small overhangs and grottoes.’
      • ‘Contrast trim vests inspire the imagination in an enthusiastic kaleidoscope of colour, from shimmering violet to turquoise, interspersed with highlights of electric blue and orange.’
      • ‘A chameleon was shifting to match the kaleidoscope of colour given off by the lights of a gramophone record store.’
      • ‘I was so taken by the kaleidoscope of colour, I got carried away sowing poppies.’
      • ‘But for now, however, we're all happy being just one - small - piece of the media kaleidoscope.’
      • ‘They're a kaleidoscope of colors ranging from pastel tints to vibrant blues, greens, reds, purples, jades, and buffs in a wide variety of shades.’
      • ‘The principal commodities were depth defensemen, who rotated among teams in a dizzy kaleidoscope, and some intriguing goalie switches.’
      • ‘Most of the dresses were sleeveless and backless and no doubt were held up by good faith and many safety pins, but the effect was a dazzling kaleidoscope of moving colours, backed by the men in their tropical whites.’
      • ‘Earlier yesterday, Jasper Conran injected a little love into his show which proved a veritable kaleidoscope of summery colours.’
      • ‘None of that kaleidoscope - coloured rice; here it's a calm soft beige, scented with fresh green chilli and cinnamon, wafting the distinctive perfume unique to true Indian basmati rice.’
      • ‘What could match the vibrant kaleidoscope of colour, form and texture that is a Caribbean reef?’
      • ‘While streaming one video, the picture broke down after about a minute, and the voice track continued over an indecipherable kaleidoscope of colours.’


Early 19th century: from Greek kalos ‘beautiful’ + eidos ‘form’ + -scope.