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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The dinosaurs: The current museum's iconic T. Rex, part of the Third Planet diorama, will be in the new museum. Amy Schwabe, Journal Sentinel, 7 Mar. 2023 The diorama also comes with a stand, a 40th-anniversary plaque, and a classic quote from the scene. Tom Price, Popular Mechanics, 4 May 2023 But 20 seconds of awkwardness soon was replaced by having my own row on the boat, and the opportunity to simply get lost in my thoughts amid the life-size dioramas of drunken marauders. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2023 Look for fascinations, including the secret elves painted in the lush wildlife dioramas, at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. 13. Robin Soslow, Chron, 26 Feb. 2023 In many of these exhibition halls, science is presented theatrically, frozen vignettes of wild animals and life-size human dioramas, with darkened lighting in a warren of anthropological peep shows. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 4 May 2023 But four dioramas celebrating America's wars did not make the move. Chris Foran, Journal Sentinel, 20 Mar. 2023 Budding paleontologists will make a beeline for the newish David H. Koch Hall of Fossils - Deep Time to see skeletons like a Tyrannosaurus rex, plus dinosaur dioramas and scientists at work uncovering specimens in the FossiLab. Adele Chapin, Washington Post, 23 Feb. 2023 Unlike The Missing Picture, widely considered one of Panh’s best films, Everything does not deploy the clay-figures-diorama-voiceover technique to explore Cambodian history so much as to evoke a dystopian world where animals have become humans’ overlords. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Feb. 2022 See More

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 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


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

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