• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Zoetrope An optical toy, in which figures made to revolve on the inside of a cylinder, and viewed through slits in its circumference, appear like a single figure passing through a series of natural motions as if animated or mechanically moved.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n zoetrope An optical instrument which exhibits pictures as if alive and in action, depending, like the thaumatrope, the phenakistoscope, etc., on the persistence of vision. It consists of a cylinder open at the top, with a series of slits in its circumference. A series of pictures representing the different attitudes successively assumed by an object in performing any act from its beginning to its close, as by a horseman in leaping a gate or an acrobat in performing a somersault, is arranged along the interior circumference. The instrument is then set in rapid motion, and the person applying his eye to the slits sees through them the figure appearing as if endowed with life and activity and performing the act intended. Compare zoögyroscope and zoöpraxinoscope. Also zoötrope and wheel of life.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Zoetrope zō′e-trōp a scientific toy by which several pictures of objects or persons in various positions are combined into one visual impression, so as to give the appearance of movement or life—the Thaumatrope and Praxinoscope are variations
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gr. life + turning, from to turn
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. zōē, life, tropos, a turning—trepein, to turn.


In poetry:

Who kick a nurse's aged shin,
And sit in sulky mopes;
And boys who twirl poor kittens in
Distracting zoetropes.
"The Two Ogres" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Then currant wine and ginger pops
Stood handily on all the "tops;"
And also, with amusement rife,
A "Zoetrope, or Wheel of Life."
"Captain Reece" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Of AGIB, who could readily, at sight,
Strum a march upon the loud Theodolite.
He would diligently play
On the Zoetrope all day,
And blow the gay Pantechnicon all night.
"The Story of Prince Agib" by William Schwenck Gilbert

In news:

A Columbia release of an American Zoetrope/Osiris Films production.
Three of my colleagues at Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Virtual Studio have received amazing news during the past few days.
Behind the scenes of the Velvet 'tissue zoetrope ' ad.
Turin to fete Kusturica, American Zoetrope .
The exhibit's centerpiece will be a large 3-D Zoetrope, a device that produces the illusion of motion from a rapid succession of static pictures.