terrestrial globe

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See under globe (def. 3).
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Origin of terrestrial globe

First recorded in 1550–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does terrestrial globe mean?

A terrestrial globe is a three-dimensional model of Earth. It’s usually just called a globe.

The word terrestrial means relating to or representing Earth as distinct from other planets. There are also globes representing the moon and other planets, but globes of Earth are most common. A celestial globe is one that represents space and depicts the locations of stars and constellations.

Terrestrial globes are associated with their use in classrooms for the subject of geography. They show Earth’s water, land, and often its national borders. They’re also often labeled with the names of countries, cities, bodies of water, and other features. Sometimes, they show the 3D topography of Earth’s surface—features like mountains and valleys.

Example: Using a terrestrial globe is a great way to have your students learn about geography.

Where does terrestrial globe come from?

The first records of the term terrestrial globe come from the 1600s, when it was used in reference to the world itself. The first records of the word globe referring to a 3D model of Earth come from the 1500s.

Terrestrial globes are a classroom staple. Most are attached to a stand that allows them to be spun around in the same way Earth rotates. Apart from their usefulness in teaching geography, they can be used to help illustrate many other concepts, such as time zones and eclipses.

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How is terrestrial globe used in real life?

Terrestrial globes are associated with their presence in classrooms as tools for teaching geography. They’re typically just called globes unless they’re being distinguished from other types of globes.


Try using terrestrial globe!

Which of the following things may be depicted by a terrestrial globe?

A. land masses
B. oceans
C. mountains
D. all of the above

How to use terrestrial globe in a sentence