1. The aggregate characteristics of the environment in which a food or wine is produced, including regional and local climate, soil, and topography.
2. The flavor imparted to a food or wine by such characteristics.
[French, cultivated land, terroir, from Old French, terreoir, from Vulgar Latin *terratōrium, alteration (influenced by Latin terra, land) of Latin territōrium, territory; see TERRITORY.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 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:
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.