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

Definition of terrarium

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 paperback book offers options for different types of transparent plant containers, tips on how to prepare a terrarium with the right growing medium, and ideas for decorating it with river rock, sea glass, marbles or glitter. Sally Peterson, oregonlive, "Gardener gift idea: ‘A Family Guide to Terrariums’ with 15 hands-on projects," 26 Nov. 2020 Now Xbox has spent years architecting a digital terrarium for its new machines. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Xbox Has Always Chased Power. That's Not Enough Anymore," 5 Oct. 2020 Staff get a chance to think about a little project -- like making a macrame plant hanger, painting a mandala or crafting a terrarium -- instead of focusing on the stress of the work day. Anchorage Daily News, "Nurses caring for Alaska’s COVID-19 patients find community support both in and out of the hospital," 1 Dec. 2020 The second half of the book spotlights an exciting set of 15 projects, like a multicolored sand-and-succulent desert terrarium or Japanese garden with living rocks, that kids can complete with support from adults. Sally Peterson, oregonlive, "Gardener gift idea: ‘A Family Guide to Terrariums’ with 15 hands-on projects," 26 Nov. 2020 Hills and valleys give the terrarium’s landscape character. Jennifer Nalewicki, Popular Mechanics, "How to Make a Terrarium in 6 Steps," 16 Nov. 2020 From scalp massagers to terrarium kits, below are 21 awesome gifts under $25 that promise to lift any pal's spirits and create excitement even in these strangest of times. Malia Griggs, SELF, "21 Holiday Gifts Under $25 That Are Just Delightful," 8 Oct. 2020 Sargent's not sure about this part) built our terrarium world. Clive Thompson, Wired, "YouTube’s Plot to Silence Conspiracy Theories," 18 Sep. 2020 The world is really just a gigantic terrarium full of microscopic creatures ready to be inhaled. Louise Matsakis, Wired, "A Grim Reality of Reopening: More Mold," 1 Sep. 2020

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.

See More

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about terrarium

Time Traveler for terrarium

Time Traveler

The first known use of terrarium was in 1890

See more words from the same year

Statistics for terrarium

Last Updated

2 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Terrarium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrarium. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for terrarium



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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on terrarium

What made you want to look up terrarium? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!