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[stroh-buh-skohp, strob-uh-] /ˈstroʊ bəˌskoʊp, ˈstrɒb ə-/
a device for studying the motion of a body, especially a body in rapid revolution or vibration, by making the motion appear to slow down or stop, as by periodically illuminating the body or viewing it through widely spaced openings in a revolving disk.
  1. Also called strobe, strobe light, stroboscopic lamp. a lamp capable of producing an extremely short, brilliant burst of light, for synchronization with a camera having a high shutter speed, in order to photograph a rapidly moving object, as a bullet, for such a short duration that it will appear to be standing still.
  2. the device and equipment for holding and firing such a lamp.
such a lamp used for creating special lighting effects, as in a theater or discotheque or at a rock concert.
Origin of stroboscope
1830-40; < Greek stróbo(s) action of whirling + -scope
Related forms
[stroh-buh-skop-ik, strob-uh-] /ˌstroʊ bəˈskɒp ɪk, ˌstrɒb ə-/ (Show IPA),
stroboscopical, adjective
[struh-bos-kuh-pee] /strəˈbɒs kə pi/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for stroboscope


an instrument producing a flashing light, the frequency of which can be synchronized with some multiple of the frequency of rotation, vibration, or operation of an object, etc, making it appear stationary. It is used to determine speeds of rotation or vibration, or to adjust objects or parts Sometimes shortened to strobe
a similar device synchronized with the opening of the shutter of a camera so that a series of still photographs can be taken of a moving object
Derived Forms
stroboscopic (ˌstrəʊbəˈskɒpɪk), stroboscopical, adjective
stroboscopically, adverb
Word Origin
C19: from strobo-, from Greek strobos a twisting, whirling + -scope
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
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stroboscope in Science
Any of various instruments used to observe moving objects by making them appear stationary, especially with pulsed illumination or mechanical devices that intermittently interrupt observation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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