menagerie

noun

me·​nag·​er·​ie
mə-ˈnaj-rē,
-ˈna-jə- How to pronounce menagerie (audio)
 also  -ˈnazh-rē,
-ˈna-zhə-
1
a
: a place where animals are kept and trained especially for exhibition
b
: a collection of wild or foreign animals kept especially for exhibition
2
: a varied mixture
a menagerie of comediansTV Guide
A menagerie of grotesque statues stood in the garden.

Did you know?

Back in the days of Middle French, ménagerie meant "the management of a household or farm" or "a place where animals are tended." When English speakers adopted menagerie in the 1600s, they applied it specifically to places where wild and often also foreign animals were kept and trained for exhibition, as well as to the animals so kept. This second meaning was eventually generalized to refer to any varied mixture, especially one that includes things that are strange or foreign to one's experience.

Examples of menagerie in a Sentence

a menagerie of rare creatures the living room is eclectically furnished with a menagerie of garage-sale finds
Recent Examples on the Web The set comes with two pieces, a 3-inch by 3-inch size and a 3-inch by 6-inch size, made with paraffin wax and wrapped up in one of four floral prints, including the earthy colors of menagerie and the cheerful colors of a garden party. Lauren Fischer, Southern Living, 7 Feb. 2024 The menagerie, which also included a miniature pony, munched amid the roadway median while firefighters fought the blaze. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 27 Jan. 2024 As paleontologists fill in the smaller members of the dinosaur menagerie, experts will assemble a new image of the last days of the dinosaurs. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Jan. 2024 The development of the song is artistic genius—despite Jackson’s menagerie interfering and at times, frightening Richie. Lily Moayeri, SPIN, 29 Jan. 2024 Cuoco, her boyfriend, actor Tom Pelphrey, and their 8-month-old daughter Matilda have a menagerie of four rescue dogs: Ruby, Opal, King and Blue. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 22 Dec. 2023 We are blessed with a menagerie of flavors from around the world — outstanding homestyle Thai cooking, whimsical multi-course fine dining, burger joints and Italian delis. Felicia Campbell, The Arizona Republic, 3 Jan. 2024 Johnson points to pieces such as Pink Edith, a 55-inch vessel adorned with ceramic flowers; Bianca, covered in a menagerie of blossoms and figures; and Dog Frog, whose squatting female form appears to defy gravity. Stephanie Sporn, Vogue, 14 Dec. 2023 Photograph: Getty Images The house in New Jersey came with a menagerie of control panels. Chris Baraniuk, WIRED, 29 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

French ménagerie, from Middle French, management of a household or farm, from menage

First Known Use

1676, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of menagerie was in 1676

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Cite this Entry

“Menagerie.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/menagerie. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

menagerie

noun
me·​nag·​er·​ie mə-ˈnaj-(ə-)rē How to pronounce menagerie (audio)
 also  -ˈnazh-
1
: a place where animals are kept and trained especially for exhibition
2
: a collection of wild or foreign animals kept especially for exhibition

More from Merriam-Webster on menagerie

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