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Word of the Day
Thursday, October 31, 2013

Definitions for phantasmagoric

  1. having a fantastic or deceptive appearance, as something in a dream or created by the imagination.
  2. having the appearance of an optical illusion, especially one produced by a magic lantern.
  3. changing or shifting, as a scene made up of many elements.

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Citations for phantasmagoric
The phantasmagoric effect was vastly heightened by the artificial introduction of a strong continual current of wind behind the draperies—giving a hideous and uneasy animation to the whole. Edgar Allan Poe, "Ligeia," 1838
It was like nothing so much as the phantasmagoric play of the northern lights. Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, 1850
Origin of phantasmagoric
Phantasmagoric comes from the Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to shine." It came to English from the Old French in the 1800s.