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A mechanical device consisting of a rotating drum ringed with narrow apertures through which an animated image is viewed.

[Greek zōē, life + -tropos, turning; see -tropous.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Games, other than specified) a cylinder-shaped toy with a sequence of pictures on its inner surface which, when viewed through the vertical slits spaced regularly around it while the toy is rotated, produce an illusion of animation
[C19: Greek zoe life + trope turn]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in classic literature ?
At every half mile the horses and the donkeys jumped the water-channels--up, on, change your leg, and off again like figures in a zoetrope, till they grew small along the line of waterwheels.
"From the earliest days with pre-film animation devices such as Zoetropes, to the most cutting edge digital drawing and animation technologies, there is a long history of people finding ways to create moving images."
Using the iconic red and black Cunard funnels as zoetropes and soundscapes, the artist's animated paintings are combined with an atmospheric soundtrack by multiinstrumentalist Josh Cummins to tell the whole story of Lusitania.
Other attractions included Piccolo Cinema, a sci-fi fantasy starring Spanish City and Whitley Bay, Beach Huts where the audience got to choose the colour of the installation, and Zoetropes - drums containing a series of images that came to life when spun.
In the preface to Animals in Motion, Muybridge describes how he divided the paired images of the stereo negatives and placed them in two zoetropes that were geared together: "the respective halves of the stereographs were made simultaneously visible, by means of mirrors--arranged on the principle of Wheatstone's reflecting stereoscope--successively and intermittently, through the perforations in the cylinders of the instruments, with the result of a very satisfactory reproduction of an apparently solid miniature horse trotting, and of another galloping" (2-3).
Including zoetropes, thaumatropes and a camera obscura, the gadgets were crucial to the development of photography and film.
From an 18th century Kinora - a motion picture for the home where a wheel is rotated by a handle and the pictures when viewed through a lens give the illusion of motion - to Praxinoscope, Zoetropes and other objects operating on similar principle demonstrate early attempts at animation.
"Zoetropes and the persistence of vision." SchoolArts, May 2004, pp.
Important technological artifacts from the history of motion pictures and television are included, like 19th-century optical toys such as Zoetropes that demonstrate the principles behind the illusion of motion, to hundreds of old and contemporary photographs.
Zoetropes held pictures that animated when spun and cost around pounds 200, and late-period Liberty pewter mantel clocks go for pounds 2,500.
The special installation, from artist Bonny Cummins, includes new paintings, an evocative soundscape, and recreations of Cunard's distinctive red funnels topped by zoetropes with images and newly-commissioned music.
With the help of local artists, some children created installations inside a jar, while others designed and animated 'Victorian' style Zoetropes.