Definition of terrestrial
- terrestrial magnetism
- terrestrial transportation
- terrestrial plants
- terrestrial birds
- terrestrial habits
- the terrestrial planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars
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The toad has terrestrial habits, spending most of its time on shore.
scientists haven't even found all the terrestrial life on our planet
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Terrestrial might be a pretty down-to-earth word, but some of its relatives are out of this world. "Terrestrial" first appeared in English in the 15th century and derives from the Latin root terra, which means "earth." In the mid-1800s "extra-" was added to "terrestrial," giving us "extraterrestrial," an adjective that can be used to describe things (including science fiction creatures) that come from space. "Terrestrial" shares the "-al" suffix with "celestial," which was first used in the 14th century. Not surprisingly, "celestial" ("of or relating to the sky or visible heavens") traces back to the Latin for sky, "caelum."
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