Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

phantasmagoria

[fan-taz-muh-gawr-ee-uh, -gohr-]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a shifting series of phantasms, illusions, or deceptive appearances, as in a dream or as created by the imagination.
  2. a changing scene made up of many elements.
  3. an optical illusion produced by a magic lantern or the like in which figures increase or diminish in size, pass into each other, dissolve, etc.

Origin of phantasmagoria

1795–1805; < French fantasmagorie, compound based on fantasme phantasm; second element perhaps representing Greek agorá assembly, gathering; see -ia
Related formsphan·tas·ma·go·ri·al, phan·tas·ma·gor·ic [fan-taz-muh-gawr-ik, -gor-] /fænˌtæz məˈgɔr ɪk, -ˈgɒr-/, phan·tas·ma·go·ri·an, adjectivephan·tas·ma·gor·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phantasmagoria

Historical Examples

  • Was the bear merely a part of the phantasmagoria of an enchanted region?

    Peak and Prairie

    Anna Fuller

  • The rest of that luncheon-party was a phantasmagoria of faces and voices to poor Nelly.

    Mary Gray

    Katharine Tynan

  • They rose and eddied through his mind like the phantasmagoria of a dream.

    Fashion and Famine

    Ann S. Stephens

  • He suspected Gordon, and as for the phantasmagoria of last night, he could make nothing of it.

    The Mercenary

    W. J. Eccott

  • It is one of those memories that enter into the phantasmagoria of the night.


British Dictionary definitions for phantasmagoria

phantasmagoria

phantasmagory (fænˈtæzməɡərɪ)

noun
  1. psychol a shifting medley of real or imagined figures, as in a dream
  2. films a sequence of pictures made to vary in size rapidly while remaining in focus
  3. rare a shifting scene composed of different elements
Derived Formsphantasmagoric (ˌfæntæzməˈɡɒrɪk) or phantasmagorical, adjectivephantasmagorically, adverb

Word Origin

C19: probably from French fantasmagorie production of phantasms, from phantasm + -agorie, perhaps from Greek ageirein to gather together
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for phantasmagoria

n.

1802, name of a "magic lantern" exhibition brought to London in 1802 by Parisian showman Paul de Philipstal, the name an alteration of French phantasmagorie, said to have been coined 1801 by French dramatist Louis-Sébastien Mercier as though to mean "crowd of phantoms," from Greek phantasma "image, phantom, apparition" (see phantasm) + second element probably a French form of Greek agora "assembly" (but this may have been chosen more for the dramatic sound than any literal sense). Transferred meaning "shifting scene of many elements" is attested from 1822. Related: Phantasmagorical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

phantasmagoria in Medicine

phantasmagoria

(făn-tăz′mə-gôrē-ə)
n. pl. phan•tas•ma•go•ri•as
  1. A fantastic sequence of haphazardly associative imagery, as seen in dreams or fever.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.