- 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.
Origin of diorama
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)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for diorama
Mrs. Darcy wants a circus-poster, or the canvas of a diorama.My New Curate
The memory has as many moods as the temper, and shifts its scenery like a diorama.Pearls of Thought
Maturin M. Ballou
Such was the Diorama as it was first exhibited in London to admiring crowds.
That building was intended for the exhibition of the Diorama.
The latest stages of the process might be represented by a diorama.Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development
- 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
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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for diorama
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper