Definition of terrain in English:



  • [mass noun] A stretch of land, especially with regard to its physical features.

    ‘they were delayed by rough terrain’
    • ‘The eastern fence was in more difficult terrain and we added wire netting to deter sheep.’
    • ‘The prime minister has taken not only the centre ground, but a good chunk of the rightwing terrain as well.’
    • ‘The vehicles were chosen for their ability to cope in difficult marshy terrain.’
    • ‘Watson set a hot pace from the outset, over the type of Yorkshire terrain that suited the York rider.’
    • ‘The terrain being covered is very scenic with some great views over hills and valleys.’
    • ‘His point was that politics is a battle over a constantly moving terrain.’
    • ‘Between the gap and the mountain was a wild and broken terrain of scarp and gorge.’
    • ‘The terrain is shallow valleys, the route follows the contours, enough to make walking easy.’
    • ‘Mr Pope said the most difficult part of the journey was the bad weather and hilly terrain in Scotland.’
    • ‘The suspension was able to soak up major road undulations over rough terrain.’
    • ‘Being able to adapt to any hill conditions or terrain is what makes good skiers great.’
    • ‘The drive to the base of the mountain, across isolated terrain, is enjoyable in itself.’
    • ‘Our national walk survey shows the coast is our favourite walking terrain.’
    • ‘Mr Feeney said most people were unused to walking over rough terrain and their ankles are not strong enough.’
    • ‘The lovely grassland terrain levelled out and for another mile we continued south.’
    • ‘He has never thought that the rocky terrain in a corner of his lands is a hindrance to farming.’
    • ‘Seismic reflection profiles can be shot over all kinds of topography or terrain.’
    • ‘The terrain includes cart tracks, stone stiles, rough moorland and broken stone tracks.’
    • ‘It is contested terrain, which will no doubt continue to foster debate and dialogue.’
    • ‘The trip will take them through harsh desert terrain and some of the poorest countries in the world.’
    land, ground, territory
    Topography, landscape, countryside, country
    View synonyms


Early 18th century (denoting part of the training ground in a riding school): from French, from a popular Latin variant of Latin terrenum, neuter of terrenus (see terrene).