1 a : a place where animals are kept and trained especially for exhibition
b : a collection of wild or foreign animals kept especially for exhibition
2 : a varied mixture
Did You Know?
Back in the days of Middle French, ménagerie meant "the management of a household or farm" or "a place where animals are tended." By the late 1600s, English speakers had adopted the word but dropped its housekeeping aspects, applying it specifically to the places where circuses and other exhibitions kept show animals. Later, menagerie was generalized to refer to any varied mixture, especially one that includes things that are strange or foreign to one's experience.
"Joe proved a quick country convert, taking ownership of the grounds and the growing menagerie, which now includes eight Icelandic sheep, eight Bantam chickens, and two collies." — Caroline Collins McKenzie, Country Living, December 2017
"I can never find my keys in the four pockets in my pants. So the typical golf bag, with its menagerie of zippers and storage, presents a particular nightmare of lost essentials." — Tom Chiarella, Popular Mechanics, June 2017
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to complete a synonym of menagerie, meaning "a varied mixture," that is also a Middle French borrowing: g _ l _ _ m _ u _ ry.VIEW THE ANSWER
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