vi·​var·​i·​um vī-ˈver-ē-əm How to pronounce vivarium (audio)
plural vivaria vī-ˈver-ē-ə How to pronounce vivarium (audio) or vivariums
: a terrarium used especially for small animals

Examples of vivarium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Back in the small brick building in Medellín, Asprilla returns the snake to its home, a glass vivarium that stretches from floor to ceiling. Cassandra Willyard, Scientific American, 19 Sep. 2023 Manhattan’s newest residents live in the Gilder Center’s vast and impressive insectarium and vivarium, which between them account for all sorts of butterflies and some 500,000 leafcutter ants, among others. Charlie Hobbs, Condé Nast Traveler, 7 Sep. 2023 This past May, the museum debuted the Richard Gilder Center, which boasts striking architecture and features such as an insectarium and butterfly vivarium. Lauren Dana Ellman, Travel + Leisure, 27 Aug. 2023 The vivarium provides a permanent butterfly home, fitted out with lush greenery, moist warm air, and a view onto the treetops of Theodore Roosevelt Park. Curbed, 25 Apr. 2023 The new museum also will have a planetarium, a live butterfly vivarium, a rooftop terrace and two mixing zones. Amy Schwabe, Journal Sentinel, 21 June 2023 In one, patrons walk through a butterfly vivarium, a sanctuary housing up to 80 species of the fluttering insects that eat, mate and reproduce in the exhibit. Carolyn Hagler, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 May 2023 In December, a Vista Superior Court jury deliberated for about a day before finding Jade Sasha Janks, 39, guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Tom Merriman, co-founder of the education and research nonprofit Butterfly Farms, which had a half-acre vivarium in Encinitas. San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Mar. 2023 The new museum will have a butterfly vivarium as the current one does, museum leaders said. Sophie Carson, Journal Sentinel, 28 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vivarium.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin, park, preserve, from vivus alive — more at quick entry 1

First Known Use

1853, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vivarium was in 1853

Dictionary Entries Near vivarium

Cite this Entry

“Vivarium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


vi·​var·​i·​um vī-ˈvar-ē-əm How to pronounce vivarium (audio)
plural vivaria
or vivariums
: a terrarium used especially for small animals

Medical Definition


vi·​var·​i·​um vī-ˈvar-ē-əm, -ˈver- How to pronounce vivarium (audio)
plural vivaria -ē-ə How to pronounce vivarium (audio) or vivariums
: an enclosure for keeping or raising and observing animals especially for laboratory research

More from Merriam-Webster on vivarium

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