Definition of anamorphosis in English:


Syllabification: an·a·mor·pho·sis
Pronunciation: /ˌanəˈmôrfəsis

noun (plural anamorphoses /-fəˌsēz/)

  • 1A distorted projection or drawing that appears normal when viewed from a particular point or with a suitable mirror or lens.
    More example sentences
    • In these pages the ‘rude mechanicals’ are revealed, and the landscape suffers under their repetitious and certain anamorphoses.
    • Each has its own angle, as the phrase goes, or slant - the calculated warp or distortion of a perspective; they are, in effect, more like anamorphoses than representations of the object to which they are applied.
    • It is easy to read the death's head in The Ambassadors purely as an exercise in negation, particularly since the anamorphosis so unsettles one's sense of reality.
  • 1.1The process by which anamorphic images are produced.
    More example sentences
    • A torsion typical of anamorphosis twists the image, crumples it and alters it, attempting to introduce the eccentrical into the field of view.
    • Recognising the fluidity and occasional capriciousness of perception, Leonardo delighted in it, contriving not only rebuses or visual puns, but also optical illusions and even demonstrations of anamorphosis.
    • Indeed, a Double Head of a Fool from a century later by Jacob van der Heyden shows that fools, too, could be subjects of anamorphosis.
  • 2 Biology A gradual, ascending progression or change of form to a higher type.
    More example sentences
    • It may indeed be a matter of very grave consideration whether true anamorphosis ever occurs in the whole animal kingdom.
    • But the essential nature of evolutionary anamorphosis remains enigmatic.
    • It is therefore difficult to justify anamorphosis purely on the basis of its contribution to fitness.
  • 2.1Development of the adult form through a series of small changes, especially in some arthropods, the acquisition of additional body segments after hatching.
    More example sentences
    • The abdomen of Protura undergoes anamorphosis: in the first and second instars it has 9 segments, the third 10, and the rest 12.
    • Whether epimorphosis or anamorphosis is the primitive condition in centipedes has been extensively debated in the literature, but only through a rigorous phylogenetic framework can we understand this important evolutionary trend.
    • Only rarely have authors been able to rear a species from egg to adult to follow the anamorphosis.



More example sentences
  • The colours of the anamorphic landscape on the lid of the virginals also appear very bleached in the photograph.
  • The anamorphic rendition shows occasional print damage, but few if any digital artifacts.
  • The technical failings of the anamorphic lens can be surmounted, but the aesthetics of a wide frame cannot be altered.


early 18th century: from Greek anamorphōsis 'transformation', from ana- 'back, again' + morphosis 'a shaping' (from morphoun 'to shape', from morphē 'shape, form').

More definitions of anamorphosis

Definition of anamorphosis in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea