[ strohb ]
/ stroʊb /
Photography Informal.


Also called strobe light. stroboscope(def 2a).


Origin of strobe

First recorded in 1940–45; shortened form

Definition for strobe light (2 of 2)

[ 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

OTHER WORDS FROM stroboscope

stro·bo·scop·ic [stroh-buh-skop-ik, strob-uh-] /ˌstroʊ bəˈskɒp ɪk, ˌstrɒb ə-/, stro·bo·scop·i·cal, adjectivestro·bos·co·py [struh-bos-kuh-pee] /strəˈbɒs kə pi/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for strobe light (1 of 2)

/ (strəʊb) /



to give the appearance of arrested or slow motion by using intermittent illumination

British Dictionary definitions for strobe light (2 of 2)

/ (ˈstrəʊbəˌskəʊp) /


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 partsSometimes 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 of stroboscope

stroboscopic (ˌstrəʊbəˈskɒpɪk) or stroboscopical, adjectivestroboscopically, adverb

Word Origin for stroboscope

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

Scientific definitions for strobe light (1 of 3)

strobe light

A lamp that produces very short, intense flashes of light by means of an electric discharge in a gas. The ability of strobe lights to “freeze” the motion of rapidly moving objects by making them visible for only a fraction of a second makes them very useful in photography and in measuring vibration and other types of high-speed motion.

Scientific definitions for strobe light (2 of 3)

[ strōb ]

A strobe light.
A stroboscope.
A spot of higher than normal intensity in the sweep of an indicator on a scanning device, as on a radar screen, used as a reference mark for determining the position or distance of the object scanned or detected.

Scientific definitions for strobe light (3 of 3)

[ strōbə-skōp′ ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.