Definition of terrain noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//təˈreɪn//
; NAmE NAmE//təˈreɪn//
[countable, uncountable]
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used to refer to an area of land when you are mentioning its natural features, for example, if it is rough, flat, etc. difficult/rough/mountainous, etc. terrain They walked for miles across steep and inhospitable terrain. Synonymscountrylandscape countryside terrain land sceneryThese are all words for areas away from towns and cities, with fields, woods and farms.country (often the country) an area that is away from towns and cities, especially one with particular natural features:She lives in the country. an area of wooded countrylandscape everything that you can see when you look across a large area of land, especially in the country:This pattern of woods and fields is typical of the English landscape.countryside land outside towns and cities, with fields, woods and farms. Countryside is usually used when you are talking about the beauty or peacefulness of a country area:a little village in the French countryside.terrain (formal) land. Terrain is used when you are describing the natural features of an area, for example if it is rough, flat, etc:The truck bumped its way over the rough terrain.land (usually the land) the countryside; the way people live in the country as opposed to in towns and cities:Many younger people are leaving the land to find work in the cities.scenery the natural features of an area, such as mountains, valleys, rivers and forests, especially when these are attractive to look at:We stopped on the mountain pass to admire the scenery.Patterns mountainous/​mountain/​wild/​rugged country/​landscape/​countryside/​terrain/​scenery beautiful/​glorious/​dramatic country/​landscape/​countryside/​scenery open country/​landscape/​countryside/​terrain/​land rolling country/​landscape/​countryside to protect the landscape/​countryside/​land Wordfindercolonize, discover, explore, pioneer, reconnaissance, scout, settle, terrain, territory, voyage Word Originearly 18th cent. (denoting part of the training ground in a riding school): from French, from a popular Latin variant of Latin terrenum, neuter of terrenus from terra ‘earth’.Extra examples Tank warfare dominated campaigns in open terrain. difficult terrain for cycling local fighters who know the terrain Make sure you have equipment that is suitable for the terrain. The truck bumped its way over the rough terrain. There were several miles of difficult terrain to be covered. a description of the people and terrain of Scandinavia
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: terrain