from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A three-dimensional miniature or life-size scene in which figures, stuffed wildlife, or other objects are arranged in a naturalistic setting against a painted background.
  • noun A scene reproduced on cloth transparencies with various lights shining through the cloths to produce changes in effect, intended for viewing at a distance through an aperture.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A spectacular painting, or a connected series of paintings, intended for exhibition to spectators in a darkened room, in a manner to produce by optical illusions an appearance of reality.
  • noun A building in which dioramic paintings are exhibited.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A mode of scenic representation, invented by Daguerre and Bouton, in which a painting is seen from a distance through a large opening. By a combination of transparent and opaque painting, and of transmitted and reflected light, and by contrivances such as screens and shutters, much diversity of scenic effect is produced.
  • noun A building used for such an exhibition.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A three-dimensional display of a scenery, often having a painted background in front of which models are arranged, e.g. in a museum where stuffed animals are presented against a painted landscape.

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

  • noun a picture (or series of pictures) representing a continuous scene


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

[French, blend of dia-, through (from Greek; see dia–) and panorama, panorama (from English; see panorama).]



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  • The current, popular understanding of the term “Diorama�? denotes a partially three-dimensional, full-size replica or scale model of a landscape typically showing historical events, nature scenes or cityscapes, for purposes of education or entertainment.


    February 3, 2008