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  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Phenakistoscope A revolving disk on which figures drawn in different relative attitudes are seen successively, so as to produce the appearance of an object in actual motion, as an animal leaping, etc., in consequence of the persistence of the successive visual impressions of the retina. It is often arranged so that the figures may be projected upon a screen.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n phenakistoscope An optical instrument which produces the representation of actual motion, as in leaping, walking, flying, etc. It consists of a disk on which a figure is repeated in successive positions. When the disk is caused to revolve and is observed through a slit as reflected in a mirror, a single figure appears to the eye, owing to the principle of the persistence of impressions on the retina, to assume in turn the various positions of the separate figures, its motion appearing to be continuous.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Phenakistoscope fen-a-kis′tō-skōp an optical instrument which produces the appearances of objects in motion, as birds flying, &c
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gr. a deceiver + -scope,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. phenakistikosphenakizeinphenax, a cheat.


In literature:

The phenakistoscope was invented by Dr. Roget, and improved by Plateau in 1829, and also by Faraday.
"The Progress of Invention in the Nineteenth Century." by Edward W. Byrn