Definition of Necker cube in English:

Necker cube

Pronunciation /ˈnekər kyo͞ob/ /ˈnɛkər kjub/


  • A line drawing of a transparent cube in which the lines of opposite sides are drawn parallel, so that the perspective is ambiguous and the orientation of the cube appears to alternate.

    ‘A Necker cube is an ambiguous object, which is to say that there is more than one way to see it, and our brains happily jump between these different views, trying one and then switching to another.’
    • ‘Although he could make hypotheses (about his wife's head or the glove) - as indeed we do when looking at the Necker cube, he could not make judgements about those things.’
    • ‘According to Dawkins genic selection and organismic selection are like two interpretations of a Necker cube illusion.’
    • ‘But model pluralism, as it has been articulated and defended, typically carries with it further ontological baggage that suggests that one view of the Necker cube is more fundamental than the other.’
    • ‘Like a Necker cube, Yellow Dog offers differing faces to the world, depending largely, it seems, on how one is feeling at the time.’
    • ‘Detecting the three cubes seems akin to shifting a view point when observing the Necker cube.’


Early 20th century named after L. A. Necker (1786–1861), Swiss naturalist.