[ fan-taz-muh-gawr-ee-uh, -gohr- ]
See synonyms for: phantasmagoriaphantasmagoric on

  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.

  1. 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 fantasmephantasm; second element perhaps representing Greek agorá assembly, gathering; see -ia

Other words from phantasmagoria

  • phan·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, adjective
  • phan·tas·ma·gor·ist, noun

Words Nearby phantasmagoria Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use phantasmagoria in a sentence

  • Not only does Marlantes nail down the sensory phantasmagoria and fear of combat, but also the elation.

  • Swiftly, now, reality was asserting itself and banishing the phantasmagoria conjured up by chandu.

    Dope | Sax Rohmer
  • Savage philosophy mingles them together in one phantasmagoria of grotesquery and horror.

    The Science of Fairy Tales | Edwin Sidney Hartland
  • It is the hour when Byron's brain becomes thronged with a glowing phantasmagoria of ideas that cry aloud for visible expression.

    A Day with Lord Byron | May Clarissa Gillington
  • The old scenes passed through her mind like the changing picture in a phantasmagoria.

    East Lynne | Mrs. Henry Wood
  • The phantasmagoria of moving forms and faces went past and past, as he thought, altogether insignificant, meaning nothing.

    A Country Gentleman and his Family | Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

British Dictionary definitions for phantasmagoria


phantasmagory (fænˈtæzməɡərɪ)

/ (ˌfæntæzməˈɡɔːrɪə) /

  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

  1. rare a shifting scene composed of different elements

Origin of phantasmagoria

C19: probably from French fantasmagorie production of phantasms, from phantasm + -agorie, perhaps from Greek ageirein to gather together

Derived forms of phantasmagoria

  • phantasmagoric (ˌfæntæzməˈɡɒrɪk) or phantasmagorical, adjective
  • phantasmagorically, adverb

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