1. An optical effect produced by a magic lantern. The figures are painted in transparent colours, and all the rest of the glass is opaque black. The screen is between the spectators and the instrument, and the figures are often made to appear as in motion, or to merge into one another.
Origin: NL, from Gr. A phantasm + an assembly, fr. To gather: cf. F. Phantasmagorie.
(01 Mar 1998)
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