di·​ora·​ma ˌdī-ə-ˈra-mə How to pronounce diorama (audio) -ˈrä- How to pronounce diorama (audio)
: a scenic representation in which a partly translucent painting is seen from a distance through an opening
: a scenic representation in which sculptured figures and lifelike details are displayed usually in miniature so as to blend indistinguishably with a realistic painted background
: a life-size exhibit (as of a wildlife specimen or scene) with realistic natural surroundings and a painted background
dioramic adjective

Examples of diorama in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Its scenes often come off as educational skits — an effect accentuated, at times, by their resemblance to handsome dioramas, with the women lined up in silhouette. Jesse Green, New York Times, 19 Apr. 2024 Back when The Shepherd of the Hills was still the biggest driver of Branson tourism, enterprising locals refashioned themselves to fit the mold of the novel’s characters, creating a living diorama to cater to visitors eager for the bucolic authenticity of the Ozarks. Rafil Kroll-Zaidi, Harper's Magazine, 30 Mar. 2024 In some more photos, Luna could be seen taking some dance portraits, wearing a leotard and tutu, as well as constructing what looks like a diorama with a glue gun. Charlotte Phillipp, Peoplemag, 23 Mar. 2024 Downstairs is a room of dioramas, constructed in the nineteen-thirties, representing various Chicago scenes. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 2 Oct. 2023 Cave 18 is not a diorama, and Mona is not a museum. Carina Del Valle Schorske, New York Times, 20 Mar. 2024 With around 160 works spanning media and genres, the exhibition promises to be a far cry from the Met’s last attempt to explore the Harlem Renaissance, a 1969 show with ethnographic-style dioramas and a near-total omission of Black artists, which drew a cyclone of blowback. Julie Belcove, Robb Report, 24 Feb. 2024 The show, hosted by the nonprofit San Diego Miniature Crafters group, features a variety of small-scale creations from dollhouses and dioramas to tiny furniture and accessories crafted with artistry and attention to detail. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Jan. 2024 This Hallmark pop-up Valentine’s Day card displays pretty pink flowers in a vase printed on a 3D diorama. Enjanae' Taylor, Southern Living, 23 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'diorama.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, from dia- + -orama (as in panorama, from English)

First Known Use

1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of diorama was in 1823

Dictionary Entries Near diorama

Cite this Entry

“Diorama.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diorama. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a scenic representation in which lifelike sculptured figures and surrounding details are realistically set against a painted background

More from Merriam-Webster on diorama

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