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

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 sun had set as the pair approached 15th and U streets when the thunderous roar of all-terrain vehicles suddenly broke their calm. Omari Daniels, Washington Post, 9 July 2022 Roads aren’t maintained by the borough or state and some residents get in and out with snowmachines or all-terrain vehicles. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 8 July 2022 About 200 law enforcement officers were involved in the search Wednesday, including K-9 units, divers, drone operators, helicopter crews and officers on horseback and all-terrain vehicles, police said. Bill Hutchinson, ABC News, 15 June 2022 The units arrived to find at least 10 all-terrain vehicles pulling out of a parking lot near the intersection of Northside and Martin Luther King Jr. drives. Matt Bruce, ajc, 20 May 2022 The Ohio State Highway Patrol on Thursday found a 2017 Dodge Charger, two firearms, 10 pounds of marijuana and the all-terrain vehicles, according to Sgt. Olivia Mitchell, cleveland, 16 May 2022 While electric cars get most of the attention, electric lawn mowers, boats, bicycles, scooters and all-terrain vehicles are proliferating. New York Times, 15 May 2022 Based on where Ty’s possessions had been found, Koester helped the team analyze the mountainous terrain to create rings of probability for where the teen might be. Washington Post, 30 June 2022 As crossing became exponentially more difficult after the 2001 terror attacks in the U.S., migrants were led through more perilous terrain and paid thousands of dollars more. Eric Gay And Elliot Spagat, Chicago Tribune, 28 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for terrain

Time Traveler

The first known use of terrain was in 1766

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Dictionary Entries Near terrain

terra firma


terra incognita

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Statistics for terrain

Last Updated

28 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Terrain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrain. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for terrain


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

More from Merriam-Webster on terrain

Nglish: Translation of terrain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of terrain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about terrain


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