[ dahy-uh-ram-uh, -rah-muh ]
See synonyms for diorama on Thesaurus.com
  1. a scene, often in miniature, reproduced in three dimensions by placing objects, figures, etc., in front of a painted background.

  2. 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.

  1. a spectacular picture, partly translucent, for exhibition through an aperture, made more realistic by various illuminating devices.

  2. 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)

Other words from diorama

  • di·o·ram·ic, adjective

Words Nearby diorama

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use diorama in a sentence

  • At ground level: comically huge, flat-leafed plants that look like they come from a prehistoric diorama.

  • Across from this display is a clay diorama of a gas chamber in action.

    My Visit To Hell | Christopher Buckley | January 30, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Mrs. Darcy wants a circus-poster, or the canvas of a diorama.

    My New Curate | P.A. Sheehan
  • It is an answer that rings down the curtain on the diorama called "Cruikshank the journalist."

    George Cruikshank | W. H. Chesson
  • Such was the diorama as it was first exhibited in London to admiring crowds.

    Great Facts | Frederick C. Bakewell
  • That building was intended for the exhibition of the diorama.

    Great Facts | Frederick C. Bakewell
  • For hundreds of miles, day after day, we were borne past a moving diorama of scenery unrivalled by anything here below.

    In Eastern Seas | J. J. Smith

British Dictionary definitions for diorama


/ (ˌdaɪəˈrɑːmə) /

  1. a miniature three-dimensional scene, in which models of figures are seen against a background

  2. a picture made up of illuminated translucent curtains, viewed through an aperture

  1. a museum display, as of an animal, of a specimen in its natural setting

  2. films a scene produced by the rearrangement of lighting effects

Origin of diorama

C19: from French, from Greek dia- through + Greek horama view, from horan to see

Derived forms of diorama

  • dioramic (ˌdaɪəˈræmɪk), adjective

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