Dictionary

terrestrial

adjective ter·res·tri·al \tə-ˈres-t(r)ē-əl; -ˈres-chəl, -ˈresh-\

: relating to or occurring on the earth

: living or growing on land instead of in water or air

: sending a broadcast signal from the Earth

Full Definition of TERRESTRIAL

1
a :  of or relating to the earth or its inhabitants <terrestrial magnetism>
b :  mundane in scope or character :  prosaic
2
a :  of or relating to land as distinct from air or water <terrestrial transportation>
b (1) :  living on or in or growing from land <terrestrial plants> <terrestrial birds>
(2) :  of or relating to terrestrial organisms <terrestrial habits>
3
:  belonging to the class of planets that are like the earth (as in density and silicate composition) <the terrestrial planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars>
terrestrial noun
ter·res·tri·al·ly adverb

Examples of TERRESTRIAL

  1. The toad has terrestrial habits, spending most of its time on shore.
  2. <scientists haven't even found all the terrestrial life on our planet>

Origin of TERRESTRIAL

Middle English, from Latin terrestris, from terra earth — more at terrace
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Astronomy Terms

gibbous, nadir, nebulous, penumbra, retrograde, sidereal, syzygy, wane, wax, zenith
TERRESTRIAL Defined for Kids

terrestrial

adjective ter·res·tri·al \tə-ˈre-strē-əl\

Definition of TERRESTRIAL for Kids

1
:  relating to the earth or its people <Does anything like terrestrial life exist on other planets?>
2
:  living or growing on land <terrestrial birds>

Word Root of TERRESTRIAL

The Latin word terra, meaning earth, land, or ground, gives us the root terr. Words from the Latin terra have something to do with the earth or land. A territory is an area of land ruled by a particular government. A terrace is a piece of land with a flat top. Anything terrestrial lives on land and not in water.
July 07, 2015
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