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

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

Others cluster in bowls, baskets, terrariums, even under glass cake covers. Al Kemp, The Seattle Times, "How I came to grips with a downsized Christmas," 12 Dec. 2018 For a fun new twist on your typical terrarium, why not try swapping succulents for carnivorous plants? Lyndsey Matthews, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make a Carnivorous Bog Planter," 9 May 2016 In addition to the five-star amenities and 600 feet of private beach, regular events—like sunset meditation and terrarium-building workshops—keep guests coming back. 6. Betsy Blumenthal, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Hotels in the U.S.: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 To speed it along, create a terrarium using a takeout container with a clear lid. Sharon Tregaskis, Good Housekeeping, "The Easiest Way to Grow Ginger at Home," 29 July 2018 That’s one of the few sections where the illustrations aren’t contained in a jar or terrarium, a visual theme that otherwise extends across the pages. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Get a grip on the natural world with this beautiful manual for the planet," 15 Sep. 2018 Succulents: The library is hosting a night of building succulent terrarium gardens on Thursday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m. All materials will be provided. Zipporah Osei, BostonGlobe.com, "Community Bulletin Board," 16 May 2018 The basic problem with Kobach’s case, of course, is that it’s built atop a fake talking point that has been turned into an outright fantasy by years of repetition in the conservative terrarium. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "The 'Voter Fraud' Myth Is Just Embarrassing at This Point," 14 Mar. 2018 The children of the rich and famous – at least one future billionaire among them – were spending their spare time dabbling with orgonites, which just happen to have a slightly more fraught history than, say, fidget spinners or terrariums. refinery29.com, "Kylie Jenner, Crystals & Cults: Inside The Mysterious Orgonite Society," 13 July 2018

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

Statistics for terrarium

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for terrarium

The first known use of terrarium was in 1890

See more words from the same year

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

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

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).


showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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