Definition of zoetrope in English:


Syllabification: zo·e·trope
Pronunciation: /ˈzō-ēˌtrōp


  • A 19th-century optical toy consisting of a cylinder with a series of pictures on the inner surface that, when viewed through slits with the cylinder rotating, give an impression of continuous motion.
    More example sentences
    • Submedia Advertising, which developed the technology based on a 19th century toy, the zoetrope, expects 7.4 million to see the ad over one month.
    • A favorite assignment was designing a giant zoetrope, which projects images through slits in a revolving wheel, for a toy store.
    • The green blur of the commuter train as it speeds in the night draws a streak of light like a zoetrope, one of the many visual surprises.


mid 19th century: formed irregularly from Greek zōē 'life' + -tropos 'turning'.

More definitions of zoetrope

Definition of zoetrope in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kərf
a slit made by cutting with a saw