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

From morning till night, hungry patrons flock to these casual eateries to chow down on hearty comfort foods and people-watch from tables on outdoor terraces. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The Parisian Bistro Is Disappearing," 12 July 2018 Now 131 North St, Healdsburg; 707-723-4646 Where to Eat and Drink Set into a hillside overlooking a 33-acre olive grove, the bar terrace at this 35-year-old Relais & Châteaux resort is one of the most pleasant places around to imbibe. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "T&C Travel Guide: Napa Valley and Sonoma County, California," 9 July 2018 The 1,500-square-foot property spans two levels and features plenty of space to relax at sea indoors or outdoors—we’re eyeing that spacious outdoor terrace. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "Luxe Danish houseboat with terrace yours for $925K," 29 June 2018 The rooftop terrace on the 21st floor of the new AC Hotel is opening as this bar and lounge with a Spanish accent. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Leonelli Taberna Opens in NoMad," 19 June 2018 Come summer, a grill has been known to appear on the large outdoor terrace across the street for the best kind of barbecues. Bon Appetit, "Den Vandrette," 18 June 2018 Patio furniture on an upstairs terrace was covered and the blinds were drawn. CBS News, "Neighbors stunned after "pleasant" man revealed to be long-missing Air Force officer," 12 June 2018 Patio furniture on an upstairs terrace was covered and the blinds were drawn. Washington Post, "Neighbors stunned by man who vanished from Air Force," 11 June 2018 Memorial Union Terrace The terrace is just about the best place to sit and stare at the water and do absolutely nothing else. Lainey Seyler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Happy 170th birthday, Wisconsin! Here are 17 reasons why we love our state," 29 May 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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Phrases Related to terrace

terraced house

the terraces

Statistics for terrace

Last Updated

28 Aug 2018

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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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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