[ 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.


Nearby words

  1. aquarelle,
  2. aquaria,
  3. aquarian,
  4. aquarids,
  5. aquarist,
  6. aquarius,
  7. aquashow,
  8. aquatic,
  9. aquatics,
  10. aquatint

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