ter·​rar·​i·​um | \ tə-ˈrer-ē-əm How to pronounce terrarium (audio) \
plural terraria\ tə-​ˈrer-​ē-​ə How to pronounce terraria (audio) \ or terrariums

Definition of terrarium

: a usually transparent enclosure for keeping or raising plants or usually small animals (such as turtles) indoors

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A Terrarium at the Zoo

The turtle exhibit at a zoo is often in the form of a terrarium, as are some of the exhibits at a plant conservatory. In an ant terrarium, elementary-school students watch the ants dig their network of tunnels as if no one were watching. Terrariums try to create conditions as close as possible to a natural habitat. A covered terrarium can often sustain itself for months on the moisture trapped inside. But creating a good terrarium requires careful control not only of humidity but also of temperature, as well as good ventilation; the lighting should include the full spectrum of sunlight as well as a day-night regulator.

Examples of terrarium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The most unique thing about Eliana’s van build, though, is her custom snake terrarium. Taylor Lorenz, Outside Online, "Jennelle Eliana's Rise to Vanlife Stardom," 7 Sep. 2019 Chyrstal Kennedy, who will give a tour of her private collection of succulents and assist in building personalized air terrariums. Anchorage Daily News, "Fun things this week: Elle King at the state fair, Queen sing-along and reptiles for the whole family," 29 Aug. 2019 The spiky plants adorn hanging glass terrariums, pop up on shelvies and cling to decorative hunks of wood. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "6 things they never told us about growing air plants in the Bay Area," 25 July 2019 Dig Gardens This Santa Cruz standout has a wide assortment of tillandsias — air plants — in hanging planters, wall decor and terrariums. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "6 Bay Area favorites for air plant shopping," 25 July 2019 Gibbs says police also found a gun in the console and a terrarium in the backseat containing a pet timber rattlesnake. USA TODAY, "Flying goats, chile duel, ’99 Women’s World Cup statue: News from around our 50 states," 12 July 2019 The rattlesnake, it should be noted, was happily stored in a terrarium in the back seat. Allen Kim, CNN, "A traffic stop turns up whiskey, a gun and a rattlesnake, police say -- and that was before they found the uranium," 11 July 2019 The gun was found in the console and a terrarium containing the pet Timber rattlesnake was in the back seat. Janelle Griffith, NBC News, "Uranium, a rattlesnake and whiskey found during Oklahoma traffic stop," 11 July 2019 Steven Universe Terrarium: Thursday, July 11, at 5 p.m. Make a succulent terrarium while watching some Steven Universe. courant.com, "Community News For The Putnam-Killingly Edition," 6 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'terrarium.' 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 terrarium

1890, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for terrarium

New Latin, from Latin terra + -arium (as in vivarium)

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Statistics for terrarium

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for terrarium

The first known use of terrarium was in 1890

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English Language Learners Definition of terrarium

: a glass or plastic box that is used for growing plants or keeping small animals indoors


ter·​rar·​i·​um | \ tə-ˈrer-ē-əm How to pronounce terrarium (audio) \
plural terraria\ -​ē-​ə \ or terrariums

Kids Definition of terrarium

: a usually glass container used for keeping plants or small animals (as turtles) indoors

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More from Merriam-Webster on terrarium

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with terrarium

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for terrarium

Spanish Central: Translation of terrarium

Nglish: Translation of terrarium for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about terrarium

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