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

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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 Lynum said peak fire season is around middle-to-late June and that is when the monsoon rainfall is really depended on to increase fuel moisture and provide wetting rain across the forests and lower terrain deserts. Olivia Munson, The Arizona Republic, 9 June 2021 This tonic features biomimetic humectants that penetrate the skin’s lipid layer and aims to, as Holey says, create a friendly terrain for bacteria to stick around. Fiorella Valdesolo, WSJ, 8 June 2021 But this year’s alarmingly low snowpack means drier terrain and more than likely a smoother trek. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 June 2021 White said the county has recovered 34 bodies and human remains this year on the vast cattle ranches where migrants often become lost and dehydrated in 100-degree heat and harsh terrain. Washington Post, 3 June 2021 Officials in the province began holding the Yellow River Stone Forest ultramarathon several years ago to attract adventure seekers to the park, where golden mountains and sharp stone pillars create a rugged and dramatic terrain. New York Times, 3 June 2021 The incident temporarily closed the trail, which switchbacks up steep, densely vegetated terrain before ascending above tree line. Anchorage Daily News, 2 June 2021 Wilson took the juvenile into a nearby wooded area that had steep terrain and caves, Swafford said. al, 28 May 2021 Negotiations over those bills -- which will require bipartisan support in the Senate -- have already hit rocky terrain. Justin Sink, Fortune, 28 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for terrain

Time Traveler

The first known use of terrain was in 1766

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Statistics for terrain

Last Updated

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Terrain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrain. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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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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