kaleidoscope

[kuh-lahy-duh-skohp]
noun
1.
an optical instrument in which bits of glass, held loosely at the end of a rotating tube, are shown in continually changing symmetrical forms by reflection in two or more mirrors set at angles to each other.
2.
a continually changing pattern of shapes and colors.
3.
a continually shifting pattern, scene, or the like: The 1920s were a kaleidoscope of fads and fashions.

Origin:
1817; < Greek kal(ós) beautiful + eîdo(s) shape + -scope

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Collins
World English Dictionary
kaleidoscope (kəˈlaɪdəˌskəʊp)
 
n
1.  an optical toy for producing symmetrical patterns by multiple reflections in inclined mirrors enclosed in a tube. Loose pieces of coloured glass, paper, etc, are placed between transparent plates at the far end of the tube, which is rotated to change the pattern
2.  any complex pattern of frequently changing shapes and colours
3.  a complicated set of circumstances
 
[C19: from Greek kalos beautiful + eidos form + -scope]
 
kaleidoscopic
 
adj
 
kaleido'scopically
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

kaleidoscope
1817, lit. "observer of beautiful forms," coined by its inventor, Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), from Gk. kalos "beautiful" + eidos "shape" (see -oid) + -scope, on model of telescope, etc. Figurative meaning "constantly changing pattern" is
first attested 1819 in Lord Byron, whose publisher had sent him one.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

Kaleidoscope definition

language
An object-oriented language which mixes imperative programming and constraint-oriented features. Kaleidoscope was written by Freeman-Benson of the University of Washington, Universite de Nantes, 1989; University of Victoria, 1992. It is similar to Siri and vaguely related to Prose.
Versions: Kaleidoscope '90 and Kaleidoscope '91.
["Kaleidoscope: Mixing Objects, Constraints and Imperative Programming", B.N. Freeman-Benson, SIGPLAN Notices 25(10):77-88 (OOPSLA/ECOOP '90) (Oct 1990)].
["Constraint Imperative Programming", B.N. Freeman-Benson, Ph.D. Thesis, TR 91-07-02, U Wash (1991)].
["Constraint Imperative Programming", Freeman-Benson et al, IEEE Conf on Comp Lang, Apr 1992].
(1994-11-09)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Experience became a kaleidoscope rather than a straight line.
The plume of smoke left behind by the shuttle as it rose into the sky was an
  unusual kaleidoscope of color.
Ocean currents govern the world's weather and churn a kaleidoscope of life.
The kaleidoscope of color continues on the upstairs level.
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