ter·​rain tə-ˈrān How to pronounce terrain (audio)
 also  te-
: a geographic area
: a piece of land : ground
: the physical features of a tract of land
: 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 There are also three terrain parks, each catering to a different level of skier and snowboarder. Programming Steamboat holds a range of private and group lessons for any level, from first-timer to seasoned shredders looking to sharpen their skills. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 11 Feb. 2024 For now, though, the legal terrain has few clear landmarks, leaving some victims feeling left out in the cold. Brian Contreras, Scientific American, 8 Feb. 2024 But Roughly 10,000 years ago, a family of ancient, giant relatives would roam any number of terrains in the Americas. Conor Feehly, Discover Magazine, 7 Feb. 2024 The rugged, mountainous terrain that Leonidas had used so well nearly 2,500 years earlier quickly drew the eyes of these audacious saboteurs. Myke Cole and Michael Livingston, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Feb. 2024 While there’s little elevation gain, the terrain is rocky and the trails are poorly defined, so watch your step and wear proper shoes. Kae Lani Palmisano, Idaho Statesman, 31 Jan. 2024 Smith was flying in instrumental meteorological conditions, the report said, meaning he was being guided by his instruments because weather conditions may not have been clear enough to see the terrain. Harriet Ramos, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 31 Jan. 2024 The show used a combination of exquisite storytelling and CGI to recreate dinosaurs in different terrains and climates. Adrienne So, WIRED, 30 Jan. 2024 That terrain, with few surface landmarks, may have confused Ingenuity's flight computer and prompted it to bring flight 71 to a quick conclusion, and to then stand by for instructions from Earth. William Harwood, CBS News, 25 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'terrain.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of terrain was in 1766

Dictionary Entries Near terrain

Cite this Entry

“Terrain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrain. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


ter·​rain tə-ˈrān How to pronounce terrain (audio)
 also  te-
: the surface features of an area of land
rough terrain

More from Merriam-Webster on terrain

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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