1 : of or relating to the earth or its inhabitants
2 : living or growing on land
3 : belonging to a class of planets that are like the earth (as in density and silicate composition)
Did You Know?
What do terriers, terrariums, and terraces have in common with terrestrial? [Terra firma](/dictionary/terra firma)! All of those words derive from the Latin root terra, which means "earth." Of course, terrestrial can refer to anything on or from the Earth, and extraterrestrial describes things (or science fiction creatures) that come from space. And early usage of terrestrial, dating from the 15th century, indeed referred to creatures and other things that pertain to this world, as opposed to the heavens. By the 17th century, however, the word was also being used to describe things found strictly on land, as opposed to those found in the sea or air.
The newly discovered fossils include some of the earliest known terrestrial arachnids.
"The InSight mission, scheduled to launch in March 2016, will record the first ever measurements of the interior of the red planet, giving scientists detail into the evolution of Mars and other terrestrial planets." - Denver Post, November 18, 2014
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Word Family Quiz
Fill in the blanks to create a descendant of Latin terra ("earth") that refers to a deep and usually covered bowl from which soup is served: t _ re _ _. The answer is …
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