• synonyms


[vahy-vair-ee-uh m, vi-]
noun, plural vi·var·i·ums, vi·var·i·a [vahy-vair-ee-uh, vi-] /vaɪˈvɛər i ə, vɪ-/.
  1. a place, such as a laboratory, where live animals or plants are kept under conditions simulating their natural environment, as for research.
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Origin of vivarium

1590–1600; < Latin vīvārium, equivalent to vīv(us) living (see vital) + -ārium -ary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vivarium

Historical Examples of vivarium

  • It will look very different when it is in my vivarium, let me tell you.

    Digby Heathcote

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • Day after day it wanders about the vivarium in company with the assassins.

  • The pilgrim is well met; he will go to swell the contents of my vivarium.

  • The vivarium contains upwards of 430 living quadrupeds and birds.

  • The short conversation was interrupted by a loud roar which came from the vivarium, a place where the wild beasts were confined.

British Dictionary definitions for vivarium


noun plural -iums or -ia (-ɪə)
  1. a place where live animals are kept under natural conditions for study, research, etc
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Word Origin for vivarium

C16: from Latin: enclosure where live fish or game are kept, from vīvus alive
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 vivarium


c.1600, "game park," from Latin vivarium "enclosure for live game, park, warren, preserve, fish pond," neuter singular of vivarius, from vivus "alive, living" (see vivid). Meaning "glass bowl for studying living creatures" is from 1853.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper