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.

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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

The rest of the time, Tejas Steakhouse has its menagerie of vintage rifles, trophy mounts and Western ephemera to build a cowboy aura. Mike Sutter,, "Review: Rodeo spirit energizes Tejas Steakhouse in Bulverde," 11 July 2019 San Francisco has a new interim transportation chief to oversee its multigenerational stock of Muni vehicles, its expanding skein of bike lanes and its menagerie of two-wheeled devices, among other things. Rachel Swan,, "SF Muni board taps Maguire as interim chief during search for leader," 10 July 2019 Thankfully, this mild mosquito evangelism does not go so far as to include them in the live menagerie. Steve Johnson,, "Hold a giant cockroach (if you want) in new ‘Fantastic Bug Encounters!’ at the Field Museum," 26 June 2019 On the water, travelers find a wild marine menagerie to rival the fantastic beasts on land. Amy Alipio, National Geographic, "How to go beyond the dragons in Komodo National Park," 16 May 2019 Multicellularity has clear advantages — just look at the menagerie of form and function among animals, plants and fungi. Quanta Magazine, "Life’s Secrets Sought in a Snowflake," 3 Nov. 2015 On most of my air travels, Michael stays home to secure the house and care for my menagerie. Luzanne Otte, Town & Country, "Patricia Altschul's Very Specific Guide to Traveling in Style," 18 May 2019 Blooms burst out of 6 train subway car replicas, while others were crafted into a menagerie of animals including a momma and baby giraffe. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "See Exclusive Photos From Cardi B’s Bronx Fairy-Tale Baby Shower," 28 June 2018 Surrounded by stacks of fresh florals and a menagerie of hair ornaments, hairstylist Odile Gilbert used a curling iron to create loose waves before vigorously shaking them out and blasting them with dry texture spray for extreme volume. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Rodarte Brings Mesmerizing Glitter Makeup to Its L.A. Homecoming," 6 Feb. 2019

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

17 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce menagerie (audio) \

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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