di·​ora·​ma | \ ˌdī-ə-ˈra-mə How to pronounce diorama (audio) , -ˈrä- How to pronounce diorama (audio) \

Definition of diorama

1 : a scenic representation in which a partly translucent painting is seen from a distance through an opening
2a : 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
b : a life-size exhibit (as of a wildlife specimen or scene) with realistic natural surroundings and a painted background

Other Words from diorama

dioramic \ ˌdī-​ə-​ˈra-​mik How to pronounce diorama (audio) , -​ˈrä-​ \ adjective

Examples of diorama in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The reader learns of William Temple Hornaday, who killed a number of rare bison in the West in 1886 for a D.C. diorama before starting a captive breeding program to save the species. Joe Spring, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Dec. 2021 On Tuesday, an Ohio sheriff's office posted photos of a holiday diorama created by an inmate at the Butler County Correctional Complex on social media. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 15 Dec. 2021 The gingerbread carousel replaces the same team’s grand prize winner last year — a diorama of Santa’s workshop on the day after Christmas. Diane Bell Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Dec. 2021 Compiled by Tirzah and Levi over a ten-year period, and pulling from both personal relationships and the relationships of friends, the album’s fragments cohere into a tattered interpersonal diorama. Sheldon Pearce, The New Yorker, 5 Oct. 2021 To the left, a short hallway leads to a life-size diorama of an Arctic trading post, complete with lanterns, a cot, a bear pelt and a picturesque window view. Los Angeles Times, 4 Oct. 2021 In the image, Cotton sits next to an in-progress diorama of birds in a Nile marsh, carefully sculpting a lily pad by hand. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Mar. 2020 Its ornate pedestal, in the form of a ship’s prow, contains a colorful diorama of the view voyagers to New York would enjoy once the statue was installed. New York Times, 19 June 2021 Better for a museum diorama showing how field workers dressed 100 years ago. New York Times, 28 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diorama.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of diorama

1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for diorama

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

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The first known use of diorama was in 1823

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Last Updated

6 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Diorama.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diorama. Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on diorama

Britannica English: Translation of diorama for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about diorama


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