me·​nag·​er·​ie | \ mə-ˈnaj-rē, -ˈna-jə- How to pronounce menagerie (audio) also -ˈnazh-rē, -ˈna-zhə- \

Definition of menagerie

1a : 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.

Keep scrolling for more

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." By the 1670s, English speakers had adopted the word but dropped its housekeeping aspects, applying it specifically to the places where circuses and other exhibitions kept show animals. Later, the word was 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 canine menagerie includes her own dog Chula — a huge but gentle Mastiff mix — and her three current foster dogs, Paddy, Amber and Wilson. Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje,, "San Antonio ‘foster mom’ helps place dogs in new homes as adoptions have increased during the coronavirus pandemic," 26 June 2020 The Saharan dust cloud is a billowing ribbon of life-giving minerals such as iron and phosphorous that fertilize the most biodiverse oases on the planet, including the lush menagerie that is the Amazon rainforest. Sabrina Imbler, The Atlantic, "Saharan Dust Storms Are Giving Earth Life," 24 June 2020 Each Thursday, the World Health Organization arranges a video conference of nearly 100 scientists, regulators, and funders who are collectively working with a menagerie of lab animals, including mice, ferrets, and several species of monkeys. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Mice, hamsters, ferrets, monkeys. Which lab animals can help defeat the new coronavirus?," 13 Apr. 2020 The world’s largest entertainment company hired two writers to pen a screenplay based on the story of a motherless fawn and his menagerie of friends in the forest. Christopher Palmeri,, "Disney Ponders Turning ‘Bambi’ Into Latest Live-Action Remake," 7 Apr. 2020 The Oregon Zoo has added a second beaver to its menagerie, welcoming Maple earlier this month to its facilities in the West Portland hills. oregonlive, "Oregon Zoo welcomes new beaver," 27 Mar. 2020 The menagerie of immune cells and proteins that defend the human body have received mounting scrutiny in struggles to ward off COVID-19. Esther Landhuis, Scientific American, "‘Spider-Man’ Immune Response May Promote Severe COVID-19," 28 Apr. 2020 While viewers of the Animal Planet show met some of Giese’s menagerie in the first season, Season 2 brings changes. oregonlive, "Washington’s Amanda Giese helps more animals in need as ‘Amanda to the Rescue’ begins Season 2," 1 Oct. 2019 Airline efforts to corral the menagerie of animals in airplane cabins have fizzled this summer. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "On U.S. Planes, the Dogs Are Winning," 8 Aug. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of menagerie

1676, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for menagerie

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about menagerie

Time Traveler for menagerie

Time Traveler

The first known use of menagerie was in 1676

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about menagerie

Statistics for menagerie

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Menagerie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for menagerie


How to pronounce menagerie (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of menagerie

: a collection of animals kept especially to be shown to the public


me·​nag·​er·​ie | \ mə-ˈna-jə-rē How to pronounce menagerie (audio) \

Kids Definition of menagerie

: a collection of wild animals kept especially to be shown to the public

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on menagerie

What made you want to look up menagerie? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!