diorama

If you use a shoebox and tiny toys to recreate the Battle of Normandy, you are creating a diorama, or three-dimensional model, of the event.

At the Museum of Natural History in New York, you'll see dioramas, or scenes of animals or ancient peoples in their habitats. Before things like movies, television, and computers became common, the best way for large numbers of people to get an idea of what a lion might look like devouring its prey was by diorama.

Definitions of diorama
  1. noun
    a three-dimensional representation of a scene, in miniature or life-size, with figures and objects set against a background
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    type of:
    model, simulation
    a representation of something (sometimes on a smaller scale)
  2. noun
    a picture (or series of pictures) representing a continuous scene
    synonyms: cyclorama, panorama
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    type of:
    icon, ikon, image, picture
    a visual representation (of an object or scene or person or abstraction) produced on a surface
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