Definition of terrestrial
- terrestrial magnetism
- terrestrial transportation
- terrestrial plants
- terrestrial birds
- terrestrial habits
- the terrestrial planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
The toad has terrestrial habits, spending most of its time on shore.
scientists haven't even found all the terrestrial life on our planet
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'terrestrial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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."
What made you want to look up terrestrial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
an inference not connected logically
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Find the Cousins