[ pan-op-tik ]
/ pænˈɒp tɪk /


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 forms

pan·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



/ (pænˈɒptɪk) /


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

Derived Forms

panoptically, 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