terrain

noun
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

Young, anti-gun activists are dominating the national conversation about gun control, outflanking the NRA and national politicians in a new media landscape that is their native terrain. Elliott Woods, The New Republic, "Essential reporting, interpretation, and opinion on politics and culture. Don't miss our latest.," 16 Apr. 2018 Senate There may be no terrain as unforgiving in this great land of ours as what Nevada has to offer. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Fox News Power Rankings: Dean Heller, survivalist," 19 Sep. 2018 And despite its name, the Loess Plateau isn't flat terrain. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Hominins lived in China 2.1 million years ago," 11 July 2018 Tuesday’s flat leg with its four-kilometer finish — the longest straightaway to conclude a leg on this Tour— was perfect terrain for the budding rivals to break the tie. Joseph Wilson, The Seattle Times, "Gaviria beats Sagan again to claim 2nd Tour win on Stage 4," 10 July 2018 For staff at Educare, which serves low-income children who start as early as six weeks, this is familiar terrain. Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, "For three families, Tulsa experiment offers chance to grasp American dream," 3 July 2018 These winemakers know what Passalacqua knows well: that Lodi is an exciting terrain for wine grapes, with diverse microclimates, remarkable soils and a wealth of rare heritage vines. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "Why is star winemaker Tegan Passalacqua building a winery in Lodi?," 20 May 2018 The neighboring 6th District, represented by GOP Rep. Dave Schweikert, is more favorable terrain for Democrats than the 8th District -- more suburban and home to a higher percentage of college graduates. Terence Burlij, CNN, "CNN House Key Race alerts: A dozen GOP-held seats get more competitive," 30 Apr. 2018 Much of the border is remote, rough terrain, so signing up to be an agent often means giving up the comforts of living in a bigger city. Skye Parrott, Marie Claire, "What It's Like to Be a Female Border Patrol Agent," 5 Dec. 2017

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

16 Mar 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 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

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a shady place in a garden or forest

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