ter·​rar·​i·​um | \tə-ˈrer-ē-əm \
plural terraria\ tə-​ˈrer-​ē-​ə \ 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

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 To speed it along, create a terrarium using a takeout container with a clear lid. Sharon Tregaskis, Good Housekeeping, "The Easiest Way To Grow Spicy Ginger In Your Own House," 24 Oct. 2017 Outstanding in landscape, hanging baskets and in terrariums. Karen Dardick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Bromeliads create garden drama," 17 May 2018 Another part of the festival, held April 21 and 22, included three hanging terrariums displaying artistic representations of three Illinois ecosystems — a bog, a woodland and a ravine. Daniel I. Dorfman, chicagotribune.com, "Garden festival gives hands-on experience to horticultural science fans," 26 Apr. 2018 Half the hotel was this big glass terrarium, tropical inside, with an enormous pool and all these trees and a play area. Kevin Doyle, WSJ, "24 Famous Globe-Trotters on the Hotels They Love Most," 27 Apr. 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.

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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

13 Nov 2018

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 \
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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Comments on terrarium

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