ter·​race | \ˈter-əs, ˈte-rəs\

Definition of terrace 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a relatively level paved or planted area adjoining a building

b : a colonnaded porch or promenade

c : a flat roof or open platform

2a : one of usually a series of horizontal ridges made in a hillside to increase cultivatable land, conserve moisture, or minimize erosion

b : a raised embankment with the top leveled

3 : a level ordinarily narrow plain usually with steep front bordering a river, lake, or sea also : a similar undersea feature

4a : a row of houses or apartments on raised ground or a sloping site

b : a group of row houses

c : a strip of park in the middle of a street often planted with trees or shrubs

d : street

5 : a section of a British soccer stadium set aside for standing spectators


terraced; terracing

Definition of terrace (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to provide (something, such as a building or hillside) with a terrace

2 : to make into a terrace

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Synonyms for terrace

Synonyms: Noun

balcony, deck, sundeck

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Examples of terrace in a Sentence


rice growing in hillside terraces For sale: large three-bedroom house with adjoining terrace and garden.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Each of the boxes is designed with a sliding door that allow for easy access to the terraces and clusters of horizontal windows that look out onto the waves. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Oceanfront modern house cascades down a rocky hill," 10 July 2018 From the outset, Bridgewater took possession of the full breadth of the stage, wending her way from one end to the other, turning around to address the audience in the terrace seating behind her and otherwise drawing a full house into her embrace. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Dee Dee Bridgewater embraces her Memphis soul," 2 June 2018 Options include hardwood floors, marble countertops, rooftop terraces and elevators. Houston Chronicle, "‘Lock-and-leave’ lifestyle offered at Somerset Green," 27 May 2018 Club selections, courtside, suites, terrace and premium boxes are $20 per ticket, the university said. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville basketball gets NIT tipoff time against Middle Tennessee," 14 Mar. 2018 In the days after the attacks, Parisians rallied at cafes and terraces in a show of defiance, widely using the hashtag #Tousaubistrot (Everyone to the bistro) on social media. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Paris bistros seek UN status as cultural gems," 5 July 2018 Sets of French doors lead outside, where expansive terraces and loggias create additional space for living and entertaining. Neal J. Leitereg, latimes.com, "'West Wing' star Rob Lowe seeks $47 million for empty nest in Montecito," 30 June 2018 Around the town center are leafy streets of Victorian terraces without the waterfront premium. Ruth Bloomfield, WSJ, "A Fashionable Escape From London Loses Its Buoyancy," 27 June 2018 The master bedroom is on the third floor, with an en suite bathroom and a balcony and large terrace offering sea and hill views. New York Times, "House Hunting in … Italy," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Beds of herbs, produce and flowers are terraced into the hillside, flanked by stone walls and bordered by open fields and a lush valley. BostonGlobe.com, "He planted a seed and an idea took root. The result is Red Barns at Kelly Way Gardens.," 19 Apr. 2018 For nearly a century, this had been dairy country, and the rounded, coastal hills were terraced from decades of grazing. Moises Velasquez-manoff, New York Times, "Can Dirt Save the Earth?," 18 Apr. 2018 Around 4,500 years ago, ancient engineers and workers terraced the little island in the Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea, creating a sort of step pyramid. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Researchers Uncover Ancient Greek Island’s Complex Plumbing System," 22 Jan. 2018 For my 40th birthday my husband terraced a hillside on our Sonoma property and planted 400 rose bushes. Catherine Romano, WSJ, "14 Flowers Design Pros Hate—and the Ones They Recommend," 20 July 2017 Dynamics were harshly terraced with misjudged volume on brass entrances and lower-register string phrases that either got lost or assumed unnecessary prominence in unblended sound. Marcus Overton, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra plays Mozart and Strauss without conductor," 16 June 2017 Excavated and terraced, the two courts are rimmed by seating for hundreds of spectators. Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, "Tennis, for Anyone? In the Bronx, the Answer Is Yes," 28 Apr. 2017 Around them was tranquil but functional farmland that was sensually subtropical, the fields terraced and piled with shocks of grain. Lawrence Osborne, Town & Country, "Why Everyone Is Traveling to Bhutan," 30 Mar. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'terrace.' 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 terrace


1515, in the meaning defined at sense 1b


1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for terrace


Middle French, platform, terrace, from Old French, from Old Occitan terrassa, from terra earth, from Latin, earth, land; akin to Latin torrēre to parch — more at thirst

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Statistics for terrace

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for terrace

The first known use of terrace was in 1515

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More Definitions for terrace



English Language Learners Definition of terrace

: a flat area created on the side of a hill and used especially for growing crops

: a flat area next to a building where people can sit and relax

: a row of houses that are joined together : a group of row houses


ter·​race | \ˈter-əs \

Kids Definition of terrace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a level area next to a building

2 : a raised piece of land with the top leveled Rice is planted in terraces on sides of the hill.

3 : a row of houses on raised ground or a slope


terraced; terracing

Kids Definition of terrace (Entry 2 of 2)

: to form into a terrace or supply with terraces Rice growers terrace hillsides.

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Comments on terrace

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


a private place of worship

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