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ter·race (tĕrĭs)
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n.
1.
a. A porch or walkway bordered by colonnades.
b. A platform extending outdoors from a floor of a house or apartment building.
2. An open, often paved area adjacent to a house serving as an outdoor living space; a patio.
3. A raised bank of earth having vertical or sloping sides and a flat top: turning a hillside into a series of ascending terraces for farming.
4. A flat, narrow stretch of ground, often having a steep slope facing a river, lake, or sea.
5.
a. A row of buildings erected on raised ground or on a sloping site.
b. A section of row houses.
c. Abbr. Ter. or Terr. A residential street, especially along the top or slope of a hill.
6. A narrow strip of landscaped earth in the middle of a street.
tr.v. ter·raced, ter·rac·ing, ter·rac·es
1. To provide (a house, for example) with a terrace or terraces.
2. To form (a hillside or sloping lawn, for example) into terraces.

[French, from Old French, from Old Provençal terrassa, from Vulgar Latin *terrācea, feminine of *terrāceus, earthen, from Latin terra, earth; see ters- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)
terrace
terraced rice paddies
Bali, Indonesia

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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