[fan-taz-muh-gawr-ee-uh, -gohr-]
a shifting series of phantasms, illusions, or deceptive appearances, as in a dream or as created by the imagination.
a changing scene made up of many elements.
an optical illusion produced by a magic lantern or the like in which figures increase or diminish in size, pass into each other, dissolve, etc.

1795–1805; < French fantasmagorie, compound based on fantasme phantasm; second element perhaps representing Greek agorá assembly, gathering; see -ia

phantasmagorial, phantasmagoric [fan-taz-muh-gawr-ik, -gor-] , phantasmagorian, adjective
phantasmagorist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
phantasmagoria or phantasmagory (ˌfæntæzməˈɡɔːrɪə, fænˈtæzməɡərɪ)
1.  psychol a shifting medley of real or imagined figures, as in a dream
2.  films a sequence of pictures made to vary in size rapidly while remaining in focus
3.  rare a shifting scene composed of different elements
[C19: probably from French fantasmagorie production of phantasms, from phantasm + -agorie, perhaps from Greek ageirein to gather together]
phantasmagory or phantasmagory
[C19: probably from French fantasmagorie production of phantasms, from phantasm + -agorie, perhaps from Greek ageirein to gather together]
phantasmagoric or phantasmagory
phantasma'gorical or phantasmagory
phantasma'gorically or phantasmagory

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

1802, name of a "magic lantern" exhibition brought to London in 1802 by Philipstal, the name an alteration of Fr. phantasmagorie, said to have been coined 1801 by Fr. dramatist Louis-Sébastien Mercier, from Gk. phantasma "image" + second element probably a Fr. form of Gk. agora "assembly" (but
this may have been chosen more for the dramatic sound than any literal sense). Transf. meaning "shifting scene of many elements" is attested from 1822.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

phantasmagoria phan·tas·ma·go·ri·a (fān-tāz'mə-gôr'ē-ə) or phan·tas·ma·go·ry (fān-tāz'mə-gôr'ē)
n. phan·tas·ma·go·ri·as or phan·tas·ma·go·ries
A fantastic sequence of haphazardly associative imagery, as seen in dreams or fever.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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