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terrain

[tuh-reyn] /təˈreɪn/
noun
1.
a tract of land, especially as considered with reference to its natural features, military advantages, etc.
2.
Geology, terrane.
Origin of terrain
1720-1730
1720-30; < FrenchVulgar Latin *terrānum, noun use of neuter of *terrānus of land. See terra, -an
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for terrain

terrain

/təˈreɪn; ˈtɛreɪn/
noun
1.
ground or a piece of ground, esp with reference to its physical character or military potential: radio reception can be difficult in mountainous terrain, a rocky terrain
2.
a variant spelling of terrane
Word Origin
C18: from French, ultimately from Latin terrēnum ground, from terra earth
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 terrain
n.

1727, "ground for training horses," from French terrain "piece of earth, ground, land," from Old French (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *terranum, from Latin terrenum "land, ground," from neuter of terrenus "of earth, earthly," from terra "earth, land," literally "dry land" (as opposed to "sea"); from PIE root *ters- "to dry" (cf. Sanskrit tarsayati "dries up," Avestan tarshu- "dry, solid," Greek teresesthai "to become or be dry," Latin torrere "dry up, parch," Gothic þaursus "dry, barren," Old High German thurri, German dürr, Old English þyrre "dry;" Old English þurstig "thirsty"). Meaning "tract of country, considered with regard to its natural features" first attested 1766.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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