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[dahy-uh-ram-uh, -rah-muh] /ˌdaɪ əˈræm ə, -ˈrɑ mə/
a scene, often in miniature, reproduced in three dimensions by placing objects, figures, etc., in front of a painted background.
a life-size display representing a scene from nature, a historical event, or the like, using stuffed wildlife, wax figures, real objects, etc., in front of a painted or photographed background.
a spectacular picture, partly translucent, for exhibition through an aperture, made more realistic by various illuminating devices.
a building or room, often circular, for exhibiting such a scene or picture, especially as a continuous unit along or against the walls.
1815-25; < French, equivalent to di- di-3 + Greek (h)órāma view (horā-, variant stem of horân to see, look + -ma noun suffix denoting the result of action)
Related forms
dioramic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for dioramic


a miniature three-dimensional scene, in which models of figures are seen against a background
a picture made up of illuminated translucent curtains, viewed through an aperture
a museum display, as of an animal, of a specimen in its natural setting
(films) a scene produced by the rearrangement of lighting effects
Derived Forms
dioramic (ˌdaɪəˈræmɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Greek dia- through + Greek horama view, from horan to see
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for dioramic



1823 as a type of picture-viewing device, from French diorama (1822), from Greek di- "through" (see dia-) + orama "that which is seen, a sight" (see panorama). Meaning "small-scale replica of a scene, etc." is from 1902.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for dioramic


three-dimensional exhibit, frequently housed in a cubicle and viewed through an aperture. It usually consists of a flat or curved back cloth on which a scenic painting or photograph is mounted. Flat or solid objects are placed in front of the back cloth, and coloured transparent gauze or plastic drop curtains are used to heighten the three-dimensional effect. A considerable improvement in perspective is achieved by the addition of stage borders or wings. The rigorous application of the laws of perspective is essential to the success of the exhibit. The skillful use of lighting also heightens the effect

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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