Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An optical toy, in which figures made to revolve on the inside of a cylinder, and viewed through slits in its circumference, appear like a single figure passing through a series of natural motions as if animated or mechanically moved.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An optical toy, in which figures made to revolve on the inside of a cylinder, and viewed through slits in its circumference, appear like a single figure passing through a series of natural motions as if animated or mechanically moved.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An optical instrument which exhibits pictures as if alive and in action, depending, like the thaumatrope, the phenakistoscope, etc., on the persistence of vision.

Etymologies

Formed irregularly from Greek ζωή ‘life’ + -τροπος ‘turning’. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Then I took a small wheel, about the size of an oyster-barrel -- the monks had dozens of them -- and pasted the photographs inside in successive order, like what is called a zoetrope, or wheel of life.

    Hilda Wade, a Woman with Tenacity of Purpose

  • The zoetrope was the centerpiece of the show, sitting in the middle of a white cyc with its projection against the opposite wall.

    scaryideas

  • Magic is a running thread throughout, from storytellers in travelling canoes and a door that leads to strange adventures, to a Snow Man and a massive zoetrope and the Ladies Of The Light, dancing high up in the trees.

    This week's new events

  • The camera zooms in on a book of sheets that each particpant holds, and each scene repeats a couple of times as a zoetrope would before the page turns and a new sequence begins.

    January « 2009 « Squares of Wheat

  • At other times his multiple images hint at the fascinating visual flicker of early zoetrope animations.

    This week's new exhibitions

  • A three-dimensional version of the zoetrope, a spinning optical toy that exploits the phenomenon of persistence of vision, it summons a tainted Victorian paradise in which cherubic fairies beat at fish and nests beneath frantically flapping birds and butterflies.

    A Small World After All

  • Kiss Chase Kate, they sold her pints on the promise of a peek, a snatch, a snapshot carved into a keyhole, a freezeframe of the zoetrope, and though she thought she'd left that all behind, behind the bikeshed, she obliged;

    Day 13: Bikesheds

  • It may be that the rudest and most subversive parts of ever-rude Britannia are not really amenable to the gallery, occupying as they do the demented zoetrope of the web.

    Rude Britannia: British Comic Art, at Tate Britain

  • And Mat Collishaw's zoetrope in the tower of the ruined 14th-century castle makes a Victorian fantastique of the gardens: malign imps shatter robin's eggs, fish leap, butterflies flap like marauding bats, round and round in the spinning wheel's mesmerising dystopia.

    Extraordinary Measures

  • At the far end, strobed by the unreliable lighting within the car and the zoetrope flicker beyond the windows, sat a pale, raven-haired woman who stared at her with wide, wild eyes.

    When Rose Wakes

Comments

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  • mechanical toy offering visual illusion: a mechanical toy consisting of a slotted drum that, when whirled, makes objects within the drum give the illusion of continuous motion

    mid-19th century. Greek z�?ē "life" + tropē "turn"

    January 18, 2009