Etymology
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terra (n.)
Latin, "earth," from PIE root *ters- "to dry."
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terra firma (n.)

c. 1600, "part of the Italian mainland ruled by Venice," from Modern Latin terra firma, literally "firm land," from Latin terra "earth, land" (from PIE root *ters- "to dry") + firma, fem. of firmus "strong, steadfast" (from suffixed form of PIE root *dher- "to hold firmly, support"). Meaning "the land" (as distinct from "the sea") is first attested 1690s. Hakluyt and Sandys also used English firm (n.) to mean "the firm land, the mainland, terra firma."

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terra incognita (n.)
"unknown or unexplored region," 1610s, Latin, literally "unknown land," from terra "earth" (from PIE root *ters- "to dry") + fem. of incognito.
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terra-cotta (n.)

1722, from Italian terra cotta, literally "cooked earth," from terra "earth" (from PIE root *ters- "to dry") + cotta "baked," from Latin cocta, fem. past participle of coquere "to cook" (from PIE root *pekw- "to cook, ripen"). As a color name for brownish-red, attested from 1882.

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*ters- 
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to dry."

It forms all or part of: inter; Mediterranean; metatarsal; parterre; subterranean; tarsal; tarsus; Tartuffe; terra; terrace; terra-cotta; terrain; terran; terraqueous; terrarium; terrene; terrestrial; terrier; territory; thirst; toast; torrent; torrid; turmeric; tureen.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit tarsayati "dries up;" Avestan tarshu- "dry, solid;" Greek teresesthai "to become or be dry," tersainein "to make dry;" Latin torrere "dry up, parch," terra "earth, land;" Gothic þaursus "dry, barren," Old High German thurri, German dürr, Old English þyrre "dry;" Old English þurstig "thirsty."
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terraqueous (adj.)
"consisting of both land and water," 1650s, from combining form of Latin terra "earth" (from PIE root *ters- "to dry") + aqueous.
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terrarium (n.)
1877, from Latin terra "land" (from PIE root *ters- "to dry") + -arium, abstracted from aquarium.
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terran (adj.)
"of or pertaining to the planet Earth," 1881, in science fiction writing, from Latin terra "earth" (from PIE root *ters- "to dry"). Also used as a noun meaning "inhabitant of the Earth" (1953). An earlier form, terrene was used in Middle English in sense of "belonging to this world, earthly, secular, temporal" (c. 1300), later, "of the Earth as a planet" (1630s).
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terrain (n.)
1727, "ground for training horses," from French terrain "piece of earth, ground, land," from Old French (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *terranum, from Latin terrenum "land, ground," noun use of neuter of terrenus "of earth, earthly," from terra "earth, land," literally "dry land" (as opposed to "sea"); from PIE root *ters- "to dry." Meaning "tract of country, considered with regard to its natural features" first attested 1766.
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terrace (n.)

1510s, "gallery, portico, balcony," later "flat, raised place for walking" (1570s), from French terrace (Modern French terasse), from Old French terrasse (12c.) "platform (built on or supported by a mound of earth)," from Vulgar Latin *terracea, fem. of *terraceus "earthen, earthy," from Latin terra "earth, land" (from PIE root *ters- "to dry").

As a natural formation in geology, attested from 1670s. In street names, originally in reference to a row of houses along the top of a slope, but lately applied arbitrarily as a fancy name for an ordinary road. As a verb from 1610s, "to form into a terrace." Related: Terraced.

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