Definition of menagerie
- a menagerie of comedians
- —TV Guide
- A menagerie of grotesque statues stood in the garden.
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a menagerie of rare creatures
the living room is eclectically furnished with a menagerie of garage-sale finds
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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.
First Known Use: 1676See Words from the same year
: a collection of animals kept especially to be shown to the public
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