me·​nag·​er·​ie | \mə-ˈnaj-rē, -ˈna-jə- 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.

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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

After a stop at McDonald’s, the pair took the meerkitten home, adding it to a menagerie of four dogs and a cat. Trevor Marshallsea, The Seattle Times, "Missing zoo meerkat case solved with 3 charged in Australia," 14 Nov. 2018 In a 2016 interview, Quincy Jones, who produced the album, said that Jackson’s menagerie — which also included chimpanzees — was ubiquitous in the studio. Aja Romano, Vox, "Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is the eternal Halloween bop — and so much more," 31 Oct. 2018 Kate started packing belongings into a motorhome and securing the family's menagerie, which includes birds, dogs and a llama. Fox News, "80 tortoises among refugees from Northern California fire," 3 Aug. 2018 The tomb, which was originally discovered in 2004, also held pits containing a menagerie of animals, including the bones of a leopard, lynx, Asiatic black bear, crane, domestic mammals and birds — and a gibbon. Amina Khan,, "Extinct species of gibbon discovered in an unlikely place — the tomb of a Chinese noblewoman," 22 June 2018 That means a big road trip, with Laura, Jack and Henry accompanied by a growing menagerie of dogs. Randy Cordova, azcentral, "Christopher Plummer, Vera Farmiga help 'Boundaries' stay on track," 28 June 2018 Morbid menageries are a hallmark of high-status burials from this period, but primatologist Samuel Turvey of the Zoological Society of London says archaeologists have never before seen a gibbon interred this way. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Extinct gibbon in ancient Chinese tomb hints at other lost primate species," 22 June 2018 To see our full menagerie, from a robot bat to a four-legged robot that mimics evolution itself, check out the video above. Matt Simon, WIRED, "How Roboticists Are Copying Nature to Make Fantastical Machines," 28 June 2018 Greer says as she and her menagerie walk toward her husband. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "On the far Sonoma coast, distinctive Cabernet comes from an unlikely vineyard," 20 Apr. 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.

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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

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Statistics for menagerie

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for menagerie

The first known use of menagerie was in 1676

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More Definitions for menagerie



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 \

Kids Definition of menagerie

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on menagerie

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for menagerie

Spanish Central: Translation of menagerie

Nglish: Translation of menagerie for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about menagerie

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