Definition of menagerie in English:



  • 1A collection of wild animals kept in captivity for exhibition.

    • ‘Other finds at the site show that Ardipithecus lived alongside a menagerie of animals, including antelope, rhinos, monkeys, giraffes and hippos.’
    • ‘As soon as you enter the car park you are greeted by a menagerie of farm animals, many of them rare breeds including Soay, Ryeland and Whitefaced Woodland sheep.’
    • ‘Here, we saw a menagerie of farm animals and other small creatures at close quarters, too close when it came to the rats, which scurried along a run beneath our feet, and a tame jackdaw, called Jack, which decided to use my head as a perch.’
    • ‘However, the problem of moving their menagerie of animals over east was starting to be a concern as trucking them over wasn't an option, especially for the camels.’
    • ‘One day it happens that a careless jailer leaves his keys in the doors of this menagerie, and the wild beasts rampage with savage roars through the horrified town.’
    • ‘We also met her menagerie of animals, 2 dogs, a cat, and a hamster.’
    • ‘Some larger menageries house animals in small, barren cages that in no way encourage visitors to respect wildlife; nor do they educate, facilitate research, or help with species preservation.’
    • ‘As animal lovers, they had a menagerie of creatures on their property.’
    • ‘The Johannesburg Zoo has a new pair of animals in the menagerie - a two-ton statue of two buffaloes now stands next to the zoo's central lake and near the elephant and lemur enclosures.’
    • ‘He said: ‘The Dangerous Animals Act set stringent regulations on those who wished to keep exotic pets in private menageries.’’
    • ‘When this busy artist is not sculpting in her studio in Cheyenne, Wyoming, she participates in local cattle roundups during the spring and fall and helps her husband tend to a menagerie of animals at their ranchland home.’
    • ‘About six weeks before, the beasts who were about three years old and half-grown, were taken from the Tower menagerie to the animals' hospital in Lytham Road South Shore, for a change.’
    • ‘Some communities, like Boston and Atlanta, became so enraged at the poor care of animals in their municipal menageries that they demanded their city zoos to shut down or revamp, which Zoo Atlanta did to national acclaim.’
    • ‘It had lakes and lush vegetation that was home to a menagerie of strange beasts including the Columbian mammoth and other huge herbivores such as ground sloths, bison and camels.’
    • ‘The cash will also help her to feed the menagerie of rescued animals that she looks after at her Market Weighton home.’
    • ‘Circuses will also have to find other animals to complete their menagerie after the adoption of the bill.’
    • ‘Zoos have moved from being menageries of animals caged for human entertainment.’
    • ‘A menagerie of Bradford animals has had a starring role in the latest Harry Potter film.’
    • ‘He portrayed visions of animal menageries, fairies, and devils, derived from fables and mythology.’
    • ‘He is a ‘country boy at heart’, a farmer's son from just outside the Lanarkshire town, who grew up among a bizarre menagerie of animals that he refers to as ‘a crazy sort of petting zoo’ and that include two ostriches.’
    1. 1.1 A strange or diverse collection of people or things.
      ‘some other specimen in the television menagerie’
      • ‘The creative part was turning this menagerie into a new piece of music without using anything other than those sounds.’
      • ‘Festivals attract a strange but intriguing menagerie of people.’
      • ‘Through the cavity in the wall, the whole menagerie is on display: fridge, stove, coffee maker, plates, teapot, oven mitts, and fruits in a bowl.’
      • ‘In a time of barbarous cruelty, the human menagerie forms the backdrop to our story.’
      • ‘The author has endowed our culture with a menagerie of role models.’
      • ‘Historical apparatuses, from the perspectograph through to today's high-tech menagerie, are on display.’
      • ‘Their lightning-fast delivery of three-chord tunes, and lyrical menagerie of punks, runts, brats, loudmouths, and jungle queens create the illusion of dumb simplicity.’
      • ‘The head of the indie label and his menagerie's techno most recently caught the eye of the heralded Terminal M label.’
      • ‘In a sense, the story told in Lady Vengeance is as old as time, but the director gives it a refreshing dynamism by incorporating a menagerie of rich characters.’
      • ‘Locked inside this menagerie of failed comic bits are attempts at real anger, sadness, pathos, broad sight gags and genuine rock and roll metal moves.’


Late 17th century: from French ménagerie, from ménage (see ménage).