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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce terrestrial (audio)

Dictionary definition of terrestrial

Relating to anything that is associated with the Earth or the land as opposed to the sea or the sky.
"Terrestrial ecosystems are essential for providing habitats for a variety of species."

Detailed meaning of terrestrial

It denotes features, organisms, or phenomena that exist on or pertain to the surface of the Earth, including its landscapes, ecosystems, and life forms. In the context of astronomy, "terrestrial" is used to distinguish objects like planets, such as Earth itself, from celestial bodies like moons or asteroids. Additionally, "terrestrial" can describe beings or things that are adapted to or primarily found in Earth's environment, as opposed to aquatic or aerial habitats. This term underscores the idea of earthly or land-based attributes and is often used in various scientific disciplines to differentiate between aspects of our planet and those of other celestial or aquatic realms.

Example sentences containing terrestrial

1. The kangaroo is a terrestrial marsupial that lives in Australia.
2. Terrestrial animals must adapt to changing seasons and weather patterns.
3. Earth is the only known terrestrial planet with liquid water and a breathable atmosphere.
4. Plants require specific terrestrial environments to thrive, such as soil and sunlight.
5. Terrestrial locomotion involves the use of legs or other body parts to move on land.
6. The terrestrial carbon cycle refers to the exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere, land, and oceans.

History and etymology of terrestrial

The adjective 'terrestrial' has its etymology rooted in Latin. It is derived from the Latin word 'terra,' which means 'earth' or 'land.' In English, 'terrestrial' pertains to anything associated with the Earth or the land, as opposed to the sea or the sky. It is often used in various contexts, including biology, astronomy, and geology, to describe things related to the planet's surface or the land-dwelling organisms that inhabit it. The term 'terrestrial' emphasizes the idea of the Earth as a terrestrial planet, distinguishing it from other celestial bodies like the gas giants or moons. It reflects its Latin origins in the concept of the land or the Earth as the primary focus, contrasting it with the realms of the sea and the sky.

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Further usage examples of terrestrial

1. Many terrestrial species are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation caused by human activities.
2. Astronomers search for habitable terrestrial exoplanets that could support life.
3. Terrestrial radio waves are used for broadcasting signals over short to medium distances.
4. The terrestrial biosphere absorbs and stores a significant amount of carbon from the atmosphere.
5. Terrestrial ecosystems provide many valuable ecosystem services, including water filtration and nutrient cycling.
6. Terrestrial life thrives in diverse ecosystems, from lush forests to arid deserts.
7. Terrestrial habitats support a multitude of plant and animal species.
8. Terrestrial exploration deepens our understanding of Earth's geological history.
9. Astronomers use terrestrial telescopes to observe celestial objects from our planet.
10. Terrestrial ecosystems are essential for carbon cycling and maintaining a balanced environment.
11. Terrestrial mammals, ranging from tiny rodents to massive herbivores, exhibit incredible diversity.
12. Terrestrial birds, adapted for life on land, display an array of unique behaviors.
13. Terrestrial reptiles, including snakes and lizards, inhabit diverse environments worldwide.
14. Terrestrial fungi play a vital role in decomposing organic matter within the soil.
15. Terrestrial insects, such as bees and butterflies, are crucial for pollinating plants.



earthly, aquatic, marine, extraterrestrial


SAT 1 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Middle School 3, Geography and Topography

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