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diorama

[dahy-uh-ram-uh, -rah-muh]
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noun
  1. a scene, often in miniature, reproduced in three dimensions by placing objects, figures, etc., in front of a painted background.
  2. 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.
  3. a spectacular picture, partly translucent, for exhibition through an aperture, made more realistic by various illuminating devices.
  4. 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)
Related formsdi·o·ram·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for diorama

Historical Examples

  • Mrs. Darcy wants a circus-poster, or the canvas of a diorama.

    My New Curate

    P.A. Sheehan

  • 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.

    Great Facts

    Frederick C. Bakewell

  • That building was intended for the exhibition of the Diorama.

    Great Facts

    Frederick C. Bakewell

  • The latest stages of the process might be represented by a diorama.


British Dictionary definitions for diorama

diorama

noun
  1. a miniature three-dimensional scene, in which models of figures are seen against a background
  2. a picture made up of illuminated translucent curtains, viewed through an aperture
  3. a museum display, as of an animal, of a specimen in its natural setting
  4. films a scene produced by the rearrangement of lighting effects
Derived Formsdioramic (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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for diorama

n.

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