Definition of terrace in US English:



  • 1A level paved area or platform next to a building; a patio or veranda.

    ‘breakfast is served on the terrace’
    • ‘Floored with glass, the terrace is also a skylight shedding luminance into the building and down the stairwell.’
    • ‘The developers have also installed a barbecue area, deck, terraces, a putting green and walkways in the grounds.’
    • ‘From the front door a stone walk extends through the house and out a pair of patio doors to the terrace.’
    • ‘On the second floor, a long terrace encircles the courtyard at the center of which stands a typical Spanish-inspired fountain.’
    • ‘A very likely source of intrusion in holiday properties is the door from the roof terrace or patio, so triple deadlocked doors should be fitted by a security company.’
    • ‘Except for the lofts, each unit opens to a private terrace and the plant-filled courtyard at the rear.’
    • ‘The pavilion opens onto an extensive lawn, a paved terrace and the public areas of Casuarina Beach.’
    • ‘A smaller (but steeper) secondary staircase leads up from the living area to a roof terrace.’
    • ‘Most of the apartments have patios, balconies or terraces, while parking for both residents and visitors is provided.’
    • ‘Once an ancient townhouse, Ksantan's owners have converted the building's exceptional wooden architecture into a restaurant with garden patio, two terraces and bar.’
    • ‘The perforated sheets reappear both outside in the jambs of terraces cut into the building and inside as stylish balustrades.’
    • ‘All blocks benefit from the shading effect of a huge glass roof that rests gently and lightly on the various buildings above a panoramic terrace.’
    • ‘Gaps between the units form plazas and terraces overlooking the ocean.’
    • ‘In fact, many of the finest homes in America are graced with courtyards, terraces, garden paths and drives paved with brick.’
    • ‘The roof terrace serves as an outdoor studio and also as a place for entertaining.’
    • ‘The terraces ingeniously serve as walkways along the north facade and as private balconies on the sunny, south side.’
    • ‘Outdoor space is maximised on the tight site, with a large external courtyard off the ground floor waiting area and an outdoor terrace off community health on the first floor.’
    • ‘In terraces paved with combined materials, the length of durability varies, so the surface must be checked regularly.’
    • ‘A series of columns registers the space within the living room while others outside define a deck and an outdoor terrace.’
    • ‘Each apartment is unique in style and elevation and the majority have patios, balconies or terraces.’
  • 2Each of a series of flat areas made on a slope, used for cultivation.

    • ‘Here, the snow peaks of the Karakorums widen and thaw into a landslide of cultivation terraces.’
    • ‘On steep topography, the filter area should be a gradient terrace with a slope that will not allow erosion.’
    • ‘Archaeologists have assumed that Mill Creek agricultural fields were located on easily cultivated alluvial stream terraces.’
    • ‘From the 10th century vines were at last being planted on slopes in terraces, with low walls to prevent soil erosion.’
    • ‘The 12m x 12m plot tapered towards the rear and was made up of a series of terraces, subdivided into rhomboid shaped beds.’
    • ‘Stalk borer damage in corn commonly is confined to occasional plants in the first few rows near field margins, fence rows, grass terraces and waterways.’
    • ‘On sloping terrain, they can create level terraces to extend the cultivated area.’
    • ‘The garden, which slopes away from the house, was parceled into a series of terraces to maximize the usable area.’
    • ‘The 12 million population paid their taxes in work: a billion man-hours a year to build temples, fortresses, agricultural terraces, and roads.’
    • ‘Vetiver grass lines terraces in the gardens, to trap valuable topsoil in the beds.’
    • ‘Soil accumulates behind the rigid leaves of the vetiver grass, and eventually forms stable terraces on which crops can be grown.’
    • ‘The growing areas are divided into terraces to prevent the crops from sliding downhill.’
    • ‘Chalcatzingo had many Olmec features in addition to the rock carvings, including crypt burials, human sacrifice, and the use of cultivation terraces.’
    • ‘The number and spacing of terraces depend on the soil type, slope, and cropping practices.’
    • ‘Carve a new series of terraces into the slope for easy planting.’
    • ‘Most terraces are drained by grassed waterways designed to convey excess water to stream channels without erosion.’
    • ‘The plants grow wild in or on the banks of mountain streams and are cultivated in flooded mountain terraces.’
    • ‘After weeks in the heat and dust of the plains, we smelt for the first time the chlorophyll scent of ripe crops: terrace upon terrace of salad-green rice paddy.’
    • ‘After Hardwar the valleys would occasionally widen into a great green opera of cultivation terraces, falling away like the tiers of a Greek amphitheatre into the convex bowl of the mountainside.’
    • ‘These terraces consist of a series of stone walls cascading down the side of steep slopes to keep small garden strips from being washed away.’
    1. 2.1Geology A natural horizontal shelflike formation, such as a raised beach.
      • ‘The coastal terraces of the Perachora peninsula are predominantly constructional.’
      • ‘The formation of coral terraces is interpreted as the product of approximately uniform long-term uplift superimposed on eustatic changes in sea level.’
      • ‘Nevertheless the climatic regime of the palaeosols was fundamentally frigid and these palaeosols formed on glacial terraces beside large permanent glaciers.’
      • ‘Each terrace represents a fan of younger pyroclastic deposits infilling valleys cut in older fans.’
      • ‘Uplifted and incised fluvial terraces are preserved in footwall valleys, including those of the Ladopotamos and Vouraikos rivers.’
      • ‘The current morphology of the coastal terraces suggests that oblique-slip thrust movements have recently exceeded oblique-slip normal fault movements.’
      • ‘Of particular interest are the Quaternary fluvial and marine terraces that are preserved along the flanks of the Hajar Mountains.’
      • ‘The youngest terrace surfaces in the Camardi area show no offset along faults, whereas older terraces are laterally and vertically displaced.’
      • ‘Evidence for the young age of uplift and faulting includes juvenile topography, faulted Quaternary marine terraces and a fractured falaj.’
  • 3British A block of row houses.

    ‘an attractive Regency terrace’
    • ‘In 1937, Goldfinger designed a terrace of three houses on Willow Road, facing Hampstead Heath.’
    • ‘Ann Street is made up mainly of unprepossessing terraces of houses with, apparently, nothing of note to commend them.’
    • ‘Jim Loughman, aged 70, is in one of three houses in the terrace still owned by Limerick City Council.’
    • ‘This house is on a residential terrace off Fairview Avenue, a short stroll from Fairview village with its local shops, restaurants and park.’
    • ‘The restaurant is a building she hadn't noticed before, however, situated on a splendid Regency terrace within sight of the city's two cathedrals.’
    • ‘Completed in 1963, it is an important landmark, set between the Nash terraces of Pall Mall and the Victorian theatres of Haymarket.’
    • ‘The city was built in, variously, the Georgian English styles of squares and terraces and parks, then French boulevards, then American blocks and grids.’
    • ‘Just across the road from the hospital are trendy, plush Victorian terraces where houses can go for £500,000.’
    • ‘On the other side of the terrace, the houses have more individuality.’
    • ‘The plans show eight semi-detached houses, three houses in a terrace fronting Crosby Road and two terraces totalling a further eight houses.’
    • ‘Greenwich Council has given the church permission to erect a new church building and a terrace of six houses.’
    • ‘At the other end of the scale, Georges Maurios has inserted a little house in a Parisian terrace: a model of economic infill.’
    • ‘Priced between these two extremes is Jubilee Court at the heart of Cheltenham, which resembles at first sight a small terrace of Georgian houses.’
    • ‘The Jenkins / Robson house is a remarkable addition to a fine Victorian terrace.’
    • ‘Planners say there are other blocks of terraces built around the same time which are unaltered and better examples of the period.’
    • ‘This double-fronted property is located on a residential terrace off York Road, convenient to Monkstown and Dun Laoghaire.’
    • ‘Devitt Villas is a secluded terrace of period houses off Eden Road in Glasthule.’
    • ‘The houses will include two street terraces of eight and ten housing units together with an access road and associated site works, services and landscaping.’
    • ‘Houses in the south terrace have generously glazed stairs, which act as hinges to allow the row to flex down the slope.’
    • ‘An alley cut through the terrace to the next road and this was where Rod parked.’
    • ‘As a schoolboy he had regularly passed the terrace and admired the houses' style and rundown grandeur.’
    road, thoroughfare, way
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 A row house.
      ‘modern furniture looks out of place in your Victorian terrace’
      • ‘The view from our new bedroom terrace is wonderful; on a clear day, you can see the ocean!’
      • ‘My first house was a three-bedroom, end of terrace in Kenton, Harrow.’
      • ‘My first house was a red brick terrace in Folkestone, backing onto the main line railway.’
      • ‘Three-bed duplexes, three-bed terraced houses and four-bed terraces will also be available from mid-January.’
      • ‘The need for conservation of older houses, terraces and cottages is also stressed, and the importance of maintaining trees and hedgerows is emphasized.’
      • ‘It has a villagey feel, he says, with its mix of pretty Victorian terraces and neat council homes with communal gardens; its primary school at one end and pub and a club at the other.’
      • ‘The house she shared with her parents was quite small, a comfortable looking terrace on a long street.’
      • ‘The birth of our second child means that our modest Victorian terrace is now bulging at the seams.’
      • ‘Yet this humble Victorian terrace is, in its own way, one of the most significant addresses in Europe.’
      • ‘The second of our rather regal offerings is a modern end terrace built by Harvest Homes about three years ago.’
      • ‘The property takes up the bottom two floors of a Grade II-listed Regency terrace and comes with a share of the freehold.’
      • ‘Fancy turning your humble terrace into a palatial Georgian town house, or permanently hosting the Teddy Bears Picnic in your daughter's bedroom?’


[with object]
  • Make or form (sloping land) into a number of level flat areas resembling a series of steps.

    ‘the slope had to be terraced’
    • ‘A slightly sloping gravel path approaches the cabin and is terraced in two places.’
    • ‘Most homes in our area are terraced and sell for about €400,000.’
    • ‘In scattered areas on these slopes, they terraced and irrigated the land and produced abundant food for twelve million or more subjects.’
    • ‘On the other hand, as more people have acquired land titles, they have helped curb deforestation by planting trees and terracing their farms.’
    • ‘Except for a few hillsides, which are terraced with trails to gain more flat terrain for beginner skiers, the terrain matches that of the Pisa range.’
    • ‘The mountain is terraced with waves of neatly tended, low, square stones, each one lovingly landscaped and decorated, bordered with bright flowers and green plants.’
    • ‘To stop erosion as much as possible (we're on a hill), I terraced the place.’
    • ‘Generally, wherever it was possible to continue terracing the slopes for rice paddies, this was done.’
    • ‘Then he came up with the idea to terrace the incline and place ascending pavers up the middle - and now those stone steps lead ever so easily to the front door.’
    • ‘The hotel was terraced on a steep hillside so all the rooms had a view.’
    • ‘Agriculture activities such as terracing earthen bunds and other vegetative measures allow water to percolate into the soil.’
    • ‘The land is terraced and, in effect, so are the houses.’
    • ‘Janet built low retaining walls of locally quarried limestone to terrace the slope.’
    • ‘If your front yard slopes downward, it is a good idea to terrace it and/or have a waist-high hedge blocking the initial drop off.’
    • ‘There are numerous options for terracing a slope.’
    • ‘The grant will allow the council to begin filling in the South Bay Pool, demolishing derelict buildings and terracing the slopes.’
    • ‘The little courtyard is terraced in Roman fashion.’
    • ‘The rear garden is terraced with mature shrubs and trees and there is a large paddock at the side of the house.’
    • ‘Canals draw water from far inside the mountains to guide them towards the fields which have been terraced to facilitate the work of the precious liquid.’
    • ‘That area could be terraced into three or four tiers, which would allow for pleasant views and southern exposure.’


Early 16th century (denoting an open gallery, later a platform or balcony in a theater): from Old French, literally ‘rubble, platform’, based on Latin terra ‘earth’.