Etymology

panopticon (n.)

1768, a type of optical instrument or telescope, from Greek pan "all" (see pan-) + optikon, neuter of optikos "of or for sight" (from PIE root *okw- "to see"). Later it was also the name of a type of prison designed by Bentham (1791) in which wardens had a constant view of all inmates, and "a showroom" (1850).

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updated on December 28, 2019