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.

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

Historical Examples of 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