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[sahy-kluh-ram-uh, -rah-muh] /ˌsaɪ kləˈræm ə, -ˈrɑ mə/
a pictorial representation, in perspective, of a landscape, battle, etc., on the inner wall of a cylindrical room or hall, viewed by spectators occupying a position in the center.
Theater. a curved wall or drop at the back of a stage, used for creating an illusion of unlimited space or distance in the background of exterior scenes or for obtaining lighting effects.
1830-40; cycl- + Greek (h)órāma view; cf. panorama
Related forms
cycloramic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for cycloramic


Also called panorama. a large picture, such as a battle scene, on the interior wall of a cylindrical room, designed to appear in natural perspective to a spectator in the centre
  1. a curtain or wall curving along the back of a stage, usually painted to represent the sky and serving to enhance certain lighting effects
  2. any set of curtains that enclose the back and sides of a stage setting
Derived Forms
cycloramic (ˌsaɪkləʊˈræmɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C19: cyclo- + Greek horama view, sight, on the model of panorama
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for cycloramic



"picture of a landscape on the interior surface of a cylindrical space," 1840, from cyclo- + -rama "spectacle."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for cycloramic


in theatre, background device employed to cover the back and sometimes the sides of the stage and used with special lighting to create the illusion of sky, open space, or great distance at the rear of the stage setting. Introduced early in the 20th century, a cyclorama usually forms a smoothly curving, concave wall at the rear of the stage. Some, called dome horizons, also curve at the top, heightening the illusion of open space. Although some theatres have a curved back wall that serves as a permanent cyclorama, it most commonly consists of a drop curtain that can be raised or lowered according to need.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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