noun, plural terrariums, terraria [tuh-rair-ee-uh] .
a vivarium for land animals (distinguished from aquarium ).
a glass container, chiefly or wholly enclosed, for growing and displaying plants.

1885–90; terr(a) + -arium

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World English Dictionary
terrarium (tɛˈrɛərɪəm)
n , pl -rariums, -raria
1.  an enclosure for keeping small land animals
2.  a glass container, often a globe, in which plants are grown
[C19: New Latin, from Latin terra earth]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1890, from Mod.L., formed from L. terra "land" (see terrain) + -arium, abstracted from aquarium.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


enclosure with glass sides, and sometimes a glass top, arranged for keeping plants or terrestrial or semi-terrestrial animals indoors. The purpose may be decoration, scientific observation, or plant or animal propagation

Learn more about terrarium with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The frog sits in a terrarium, a big grin on its face.
When he got home, he lifted the snake and laid it in the terrarium, then he
  opened the lid of the rat's box.
Each terrarium is exposed to a different amount of sunlight each day.
The disease appears when plants are grown under conditions of high humidity,
  such as in a terrarium.
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