ter·​rain | \ tə-ˈrān also te- How to pronounce terrain (audio) \

Definition of terrain

1a(1) : a geographic area
(2) : a piece of land : ground
b : the physical features of a tract of land
3a : a field of knowledge or interest

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Examples of terrain in a Sentence

We had to drive over some rough terrain. We hiked through a variety of terrains.

Recent Examples on the Web

The Summit County ski area at the Continental Divide will open the terrain park from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Antonio Olivero, The Know, "Arapahoe Basin is opening its terrain park for skiing this weekend," 10 July 2019 Images from all the Ranger missions, particularly Ranger 9, highlighted the moon’s rough terrain and the potential challenges of finding a smooth landing site. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, "A brief history of moon exploration," 5 July 2019 Due to the onset of darkness, rough terrain and weather moving in, the body was not retrieved until the next morning, the newspaper reported. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "Poway resident dies in hiking fall in Colorado," 3 July 2019 Located along a canyon, this 20 mile trail showcases mountains, desert terrain, and pretty Park City. Sam Silverman, Health.com, "The 12 Best Bike Trails of 2019 for Summer Activities," 3 July 2019 Almost three weeks ago, some of the bodies were spotted by Indian air force helicopters, but the difficult terrain and poor weather conditions had prevented recovery. NBC News, "Bodies of seven climbers missing in Himalayas recovered by Indian authorities," 24 June 2019 First, original game layouts for both FFVII's traversable terrain and its concept art have been fleshed out to include content that the producers insist represents the original game's architectural vision. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Final Fantasy VII Remake hands-on: Already feels like the one for jaded JRPG fans," 15 June 2019 Amazon says Scout can travel miles at a time on a single charge, depending on the terrain and its loads. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "How Amazon Cloned a Neighborhood to Test Its Delivery Robots," 14 June 2019 The transmission is an all-wheel-drive setup that offers a variety of on-road and off-road settings to ensure the Cayenne does its job on all terrains. Charles Fleming, latimes.com, "Porsche’s 2019 Cayenne Turbo can haul your groceries from 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds," 21 June 2019

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

1766, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for terrain

French, land, ground, from Old French terrein, from Vulgar Latin *terranum, alteration of Latin terrenum, from neuter of terrenus of earth — more at terrene

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Statistics for terrain

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for terrain

The first known use of terrain was in 1766

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More Definitions for terrain



English Language Learners Definition of terrain

: land of a particular kind


ter·​rain | \ tə-ˈrān How to pronounce terrain (audio) \

Kids Definition of terrain

: the features of the surface of a piece of land hilly terrain swampy terrain

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Comments on terrain

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

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