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A modern replica of a Victorian zoetrope.
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From Ancient Greek ζωή ‎(zōḗ, life) +‎ -trope.


  • IPA(key): /ˈzəʊɪtrəʊp/


zoetrope ‎(plural zoetropes)

  1. An optical toy, in which figures made to revolve on the inside of a cylinder, and viewed through slits in its circumference, appear like a single figure passing through a series of natural motions as if animated or mechanically moved.
    • 1993, Will Self, My Idea of Fun
      This was the way I passed through the remainder of my childhood. The zoetrope span smoothly, time’s Chief Designer narrowed the legs of trousers and decreed that the cars should be more aerodynamic.
    • 2014 April 11, Ron Charles, “David Grand’s ‘Mount Terminus’”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 190, number 18, page 37: 
      The Rosenbloom Loop is a clever little device, but it’s an even more clever symbol of the role that discipline plays in the creation of illusion: the persistence of vision that makes sequential still images appear to move. In a sense, that’s the wizardry that Grand spins in this zoetrope of a novel as these characters love and build and pine and die.