Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A collection of live wild animals on exhibition.
  • n. An enclosure in which wild animals are kept.
  • n. A diverse or miscellaneous group.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A collection of live wild animals on exhibition; the enclosure where they are kept.
  • n. A diverse or miscellaneous group.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A place where animals are kept and trained.
  • n. A collection of wild or exotic animals, kept for exhibition.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A yard or inclosure in which wild animals are kept.
  • n. A collection of wild animals; specifically, a collection of wild animals kept for exhibition.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a collection of live animals for study or display
  • n. the facility where wild animals are housed for exhibition

Etymologies

French ménagerie, from Old French mesnage, ménage; see ménage.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French ménagerie, derived from ménager ("to keep house"), household. Housekeeping used to include taking care of domestic animals. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • If the fishing isn't bizarre enough, there's some random samurai action going on and this whole menagerie is played out to Metallica's "Unforgiven," which, if you watch it a few times will become as hysterical to you as it has to me.

    Japanese Rock Fishing=Perplexing

  • The only remaining Baroque-style menagerie is the zoo in Vienna, which has modernized enough to make the animals comfortable without losing its essentially radial layout.

    Archive 2008-08-01

  • The national menagerie is collected by the first physiologists of the time; and it is defective in no description of savage nature.

    Selections from _Letter to Noble Lord_

  • I knew he kept ducks at the bottom of the garden -- an activity Siegfried regarded with a jaundiced eye as being part of a "menagerie" -- but all this, coming from a man who had no interest in food and, in fact, seemed to eat only on rare occasions, was difficult to take in.

    Every living thing

  • WAP-enabled devices (and the acronym menagerie that goes along with them) combine the rock-solid reliability of the Internet with the rock-solid reliability of a cell phone.

    Boing Boing: January 28, 2001 - February 3, 2001 Archives

  • All we needed to complete our menagerie was a magic-poor vampire.

    Myth-Ing Persons

  • She was a collector of stray animals; in her menagerie were a cat with a lobotomy and a large dog with stunted legs.

    Dominick Dunne on His Daughter's Murder

  • A few feet away in this wall was an inset rubber-sealed glass door: behind this, I knew, lay what the scientists and technicians called the menagerie — one of four in Mordon.

    The Satan Bug

  • A few feet away in this wall was an inset rubber-sealed glass door: behind this, I knew, lay what the scientists and technicians called the menagerie -- one of four in Mordon.

    The Satan Bug

  • "The last part of our menagerie is the cage of prize butterflies," said

    The Bobbsey Twins in the Country

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Comments

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  • "Jacob-it's the menagerie." Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

    October 17, 2010

  • Scientists have been altering DNA piecemeal for a generation, producing a menagerie of genetically engineered plants and animals.

    May 25, 2010