[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. dioptric,
  2. dioptric aberration,
  3. dioptrics,
  4. dior,
  5. dior, christian,
  6. diorite,
  7. dioritic,
  8. dioscin,
  9. dioscuri,
  10. diose

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for diorama

British Dictionary definitions for diorama


/ (ˌdaɪəˈrɑːmə) /


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 Formsdioramic (ˌdaɪəˈræmɪk), adjective

Word Origin for diorama

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



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