WORD ORIGIN noun, plural a·quar·i·ums, a·quar·i·a . [ uh- kwair-ee- uh] /əˈkwɛər i ə/ a glass-sided tank, bowl, or the like, in which fish or other living aquatic animals or plants are kept. a building or institution in which fish or other aquatic animals or plants are kept for exhibit, study, etc. Origin of aquarium 1840–50;
of or for water (
) water +
-arium Related forms a·quar·i·al, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for aquarial noun plural -riums or -ria ( -rɪə) a tank, bowl, or pool in which aquatic animals and plants are kept for pleasure, study, or exhibition a building housing a collection of aquatic life, as for exhibition Word Origin for aquarium
C19: from Latin
aquārius relating to water, on the model of vivarium
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for aquarial n.
1830, noun use of neuter of Latin
aquarius "pertaining to water," as a noun, "water-carrier," genitive of aqua "water" (see aqua-). The word existed in Latin, but there it meant "drinking place for cattle." Originally especially for growing aquatic plants; An earlier attempt at a name for "fish tank" was marine vivarium.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper