me·​nag·​er·​ie | \ mə-ˈnaj-rē, -ˈna-jə- How to pronounce menagerie (audio) also -ˈnazh-rē, -ˈna-zhə- \

Definition of menagerie

1a : a place where animals are kept and trained especially for exhibition
b : a collection of wild or foreign animals kept especially for exhibition
2 : a varied mixture a menagerie of comediansTV Guide A menagerie of grotesque statues stood in the garden.

Did you know?

Back in the days of Middle French, ménagerie meant "the management of a household or farm" or "a place where animals are tended." When English speakers adopted menagerie in the 1600s, they applied it specifically to places where wild and often also foreign animals were kept and trained for exhibition, as well as to the animals so kept. This second meaning was eventually generalized to refer to any varied mixture, especially one that includes things that are strange or foreign to one's experience.

Examples of menagerie in a Sentence

a menagerie of rare creatures the living room is eclectically furnished with a menagerie of garage-sale finds
Recent Examples on the Web Future Fairbanks club owner and North Star Borough Assemblyman Pete Aiken owned two raccoons amongst a menagerie that ran the gamut of a regular tortoise to two alligators. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 17 July 2022 In returning to the story of inarigivir, researchers called upon a menagerie of models to test the drug for potential toxicities — none of which gave them a reason to suspect its lethal potential. Jim Corbett, Forbes, 26 May 2022 Other than soldiers, the bunker is inhabited by a menagerie of animals who have also sought safety from the bombs — several small dogs and a black goat that likes to make a mess of the kitchen area. New York Times, 11 May 2022 And a siege on a diplomat’s mansion punctuated by a CGI menagerie tearing into the British Raj’s troops. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 1 June 2022 And researchers such as Walls, at UW, are working on universal vaccines that may be able to guard against a whole menagerie of coronavirus iterations—perhaps even ones that haven’t yet been detected—so that the game of variant whack-a-mole can end. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 13 May 2022 As the last Ice Age waned, some 15,000 years ago, artists here used flint and stone blades to carve rock surfaces with geometric designs and motifs, as well as a menagerie of ancient animal forms. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Apr. 2022 An Arizona man was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after a menagerie of pets — including snakes, lizards, birds, dogs, and rabbits — were found in his freezer. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 14 Apr. 2022 Banishing barnyard and household creatures from his jewels, the designer, who died in 1975 at the age of 50, favored a far more exotic and mythical menagerie of big cats, zebras, frogs and more. Lindsay Talbot, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'menagerie.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of menagerie

1676, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for menagerie

French ménagerie, from Middle French, management of a household or farm, from menage

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The first known use of menagerie was in 1676

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Dictionary Entries Near menagerie

ménage à trois



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Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Menagerie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for menagerie


me·​nag·​er·​ie | \ mə-ˈna-jə-rē How to pronounce menagerie (audio) \

Kids Definition of menagerie

: a collection of wild animals kept especially to be shown to the public

More from Merriam-Webster on menagerie

Nglish: Translation of menagerie for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about menagerie


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