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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.
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 forms
dioramic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for diorama


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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for diorama

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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