[ uh-kwair-ee-uh m ]
/ əˈkwɛər i əm /

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; blend of Latin aquārius of or for water (aqu(a) water + -ārius -ary) and vivarium; cf. -arium
Related formsa·quar·i·al, adjective
Can be confusedaquarium Aquarius Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for aquarium

British Dictionary definitions for aquarium


/ (əˈkwɛərɪəm) /

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 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for aquarium



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