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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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Definitions of terrace from WordNet
1
terrace (n.)
usually paved outdoor area adjoining a residence;
Synonyms: patio
terrace (n.)
a level shelf of land interrupting a declivity (with steep slopes above and below);
Synonyms: bench
terrace (n.)
a row of houses built in a similar style and having common dividing walls (or the street on which they face);
2
terrace (v.)
provide (a house) with a terrace;
Synonyms: terrasse
terrace (v.)
make into terraces as for cultivation;
The Incas terraced their mountainous land
From wordnet.princeton.edu