terrarium

noun

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
: 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.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The best news, especially for anyone who can’t keep indoor plants alive, is the terrarium is easy to set up, and green thumbs are not required. Kylee Mcguigan, Popular Mechanics, 21 Sep. 2022 This adorable kit comes with a glass container, sphagnum moss, rocks and more to complete a terrarium. Monique Valeris, Good Housekeeping, 5 Oct. 2022 Planting flowers in the garden is one option, but turn it up a notch with a terrarium-making sesh this year. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Oct. 2022 Choose from a cactus or poppy terrarium candle for a cool home upgrade. Mariah Thomas, Good Housekeeping, 23 Aug. 2022 Silver Lake home, the recreation room has a terrarium vibe as a result of its low location and broad Fleetwood windows, including one at chest level that conveniently opens to allow Lucy, the couple’s cat, easy access to the unit. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 7 May 2022 Silver Lake home, the recreation room has a terrarium vibe as a result of its low location and broad Fleetwood windows, including one at chest level that conveniently opens to allow Lucy, the couple’s cat, easy access to the unit. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 7 May 2022 Silver Lake home, the recreation room has a terrarium vibe as a result of its low location and broad Fleetwood windows, including one at chest level that conveniently opens to allow Lucy, the couple’s cat, easy access to the unit. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 7 May 2022 These tiny terrarium candles are popular for many reasons. Monique Valeris, Good Housekeeping, 24 May 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of terrarium was in 1890

Dictionary Entries Near terrarium

Cite this Entry

“Terrarium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrarium. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

terrarium

noun
ter·​rar·​i·​um tə-ˈrar-ē-əm How to pronounce terrarium (audio)
-ˈrer-
plural terraria
-ē-ə
or terrariums
: a transparent enclosure used for keeping and observing small animals and plants indoors
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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