terrain

noun
ter·​rain | \ tə-ˈrān also te- \

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

Figures over 50 mean more builders see conditions as good rather than bad, which means that, despite the November drop, builder sentiment is still in positive terrain. Sarah Chaney, WSJ, "U.S. Home-Builder Sentiment Posted Steep Decline in November," 19 Nov. 2018 That number is consistent with the number of craters in the terrain. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Enigmatic ridges on Pluto may be the remains of vanished nitrogen glaciers," 17 Nov. 2018 Variations in this reflected light over time would connote regional differences in the planet's terrain. National Geographic, "Aliens Could Detect Life on Earth. Here's How.," 26 Mar. 2018 Checking off multiple terrains is the best way to prepare shoes for a hike. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "The 5 Best Hiking Boots for Women, Reviewed by Experts," 4 Dec. 2018 The InSight lander will conduct two years of experiments on Martian atmosphere and terrain; here’s how NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory prepares for a mission to Mars. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Google spends $1 billion on a 52-acre office park in space-constrained Silicon Valley," 27 Nov. 2018 Meenakshi Moorthy and Vishnu Viswananth had hiked to Taft Point, an area with very steep terrain, according to the National Parks Service. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "A Married Couple Died After Falling 800 Feet at Yosemite National Park," 30 Oct. 2018 The instructor will personally design the day according to everyone’s need and skill level, exploring with you the best beginner areas or the most advanced terrain. Discover Magazine, "The Great Snow of Beaver Creek," 3 Oct. 2018 Stage 8 on Saturday will cover a slightly more challenging terrain over about 112 miles from Dreux to Amiens but again should set up well for sprinters. New York Times, "Longest Stage of the Tour de France Is Actually a Chance to Relax," 13 July 2018

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

5 Jan 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

terrain

noun

English Language Learners Definition of terrain

: land of a particular kind

terrain

noun
ter·​rain | \ tə-ˈrān \

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

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