permitting the viewing of all parts or elements: a panoptic stain used in microscopy; a panoptic aerial photograph of an enemy missile base.
considering all parts or elements; all inclusive: a panoptic criticism of modern poetry.

Nearby words

  1. panoche,
  2. panofsky,
  3. panofsky, erwin,
  4. panophthalmia,
  5. panoply,
  6. panopticon,
  7. panorama,
  8. panoramic,
  9. panoramic camera,
  10. panoramic radiograph

Often pan·op·ti·cal.

Origin of panoptic

1820–30; < Greek panópt(ēs) all-seeing + -ic. See pan-, optic

Related formspan·op·ti·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for panoptic

  • I suppose the town has a modern jail now—perhaps even with panoptic galleries!

    The Charm of Ireland|Burton Egbert Stevenson

British Dictionary definitions for panoptic




taking in all parts, aspects, etc, in a single view; all-embracinga panoptic survey
Derived Formspanoptically, adverb

Word Origin for panoptic

C19: from Greek panoptēs seeing everything, from pan- + optos visible

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 panoptic



1826, from Greek panoptos "fully visible, seen by all," from panopes "all-seeing," from pan "all" (see pan-) + optos (see optic). Related: Panoptical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper