Definition of earth noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɜːθ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɜːrθ//
    Electronics, The Earth and the atmosphere, Growing crops
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  1. 1   (also Earth, the Earth) [uncountable, singular] the world; the planet that we live on the planet Earth the history of life on earth the earth’s ozone layer The earth revolves around the sun. I must be the happiest person on earth! Wordfinderclimate, earth, equator, equinox, hemisphere, International Date Line, latitude, map, planet, tropic See related entries: The Earth and the atmosphere
  2. 2  [uncountable, singular] land; the hard surface of the world that is not the sea or the sky; the ground After a week at sea, it was good to feel the earth beneath our feet again. You could feel the earth shake as the truck came closer. Synonymsfloorground land earthThese are all words for the surface that you walk on.floor the surface of a room that you walk on:She was sitting on the floor watching TV.ground (often the ground) the solid surface of the earth that you walk on:I found her lying on the ground. The rocket crashed a few seconds after it left the ground.land the surface of the earth that is not sea:It was good to be back on dry land again. They fought both at sea and on land.earth (often the earth) the solid surface of the world that is made of rock, soil, sand, etc:You could feel the earth shake as the truck came closer.ground, land or earth? Ground is the normal word for the solid surface that you walk on when you are not in a building or vehicle. You can use earth if you want to draw attention to the rock, soil etc. that the ground is made of. Land is only used when you want to contrast it with the sea:the land beneath our feet feel the land shake sight ground/​earth travel by ground/​earthPatterns on/​under the floor/​ground/​earth bare floor/​ground/​earth to drop/​fall to the floor/​the ground/(the) earth to reach the floor/​the ground/​land
  3. 3  [uncountable] the substance that plants grow in a clod/lump/mound of earth I cleaned off the earth clinging to my boots. Synonymssoilmud dust clay land earth dirt groundThese are all words for the top layer of the earth in which plants grow.soil the top layer of the earth in which plants grow:Plant the seedlings in damp soil.mud wet soil that is soft and sticky:The car wheels got stuck in the mud.dust a fine powder that consists of very small pieces of rock, earth, etc:A cloud of dust rose as the truck set off.clay a type of heavy sticky soil that becomes hard when it is baked and is used to make things such as pots and bricks:The tiles are made of clay.land an area of ground, especially of a particular type:an area of rich, fertile landearth the substance that plants grow in. Earth is often used about the soil found in gardens or used for gardening:She put some earth into the pot.dirt (especially North American English) soil, especially loose soil:Pack the dirt firmly around the plants.ground an area of soil:The car got stuck in the muddy ground. They drove across miles of rough, stony ground. Ground is not used for loose soil:a handful of dry groundPatterns good/​rich soil/​land/​earth fertile/​infertile soil/​land/​ground to dig the soil/​mud/​clay/​land/​earth/​ground to cultivate the soil/​land/​ground See related entries: Growing crops
  4. 4[countable] the hole where an animal, especially a fox, lives
  5. 5(British English) (North American English ground) [countable, usually singular] a wire that connects an electric circuit with the ground and makes it safe See related entries: Electronics
  6. Word OriginOld English eorthe, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch aarde and German Erde.Extra examples Furniture fell over as the room was shaken by an earth tremor. I filled the pot with a handful of loose earth. I scrambled to the top of the steep earth bank. My boots were caked in big clods of wet earth. No one knows what happens to us after we leave this earth. The Bible says the meek will inherit the earth. The astronauts were able to send the information back to earth. The earth orbits the sun. The earth revolves on its axis. The fields had been ploughed, and there was nothing but bare earth to be seen. The island was there before there was life on earth. The plants must have their roots in the earth. The sun beat down on the baked earth. The wreckage of the plane was scattered across the scorched earth. We are flying at 30 000 feet above the earth. a lost spirit, wandering the earth humans and other species that inhabit the earth in mines deep under the earth satellites orbiting the earth the future of life on planet Earth the last asteroid that hit the earth the moon’s orbit around the earth the retreating army’s scorched earth policy. when dinosaurs roamed the earth Dig the earth to a depth of two spade lengths. Earth from the garden was clinging to his boots. His boots sank into the soft earth. I must be the happiest person in the world/​on earth! In the air was the smell of freshly dug earth. In the story the aliens have a plan to destroy planet earth. It was good to feel the earth beneath our feet again. She put a couple of handfuls of earth into the pot. The Earth’s ozone layer protects all life from the sun’s harmful radiation. The bunker is located deep below the earth. The earth was dry and scorched. The fossil record shows the history of life on earth.Idioms
    be, feel, look, taste, etc. like nothing on earth
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    (informal) to be, feel, look, taste, etc. very bad
    charge, cost, pay, etc. the earth
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    (British English, informal) to charge, etc. a lot of money I'd love that dress, but it costs the earth. If you want a house in London, you’ll have to pay the earth for it.
    come back/down to earth (with a bang/bump), bring somebody (back) down to earth (with a bang/bump)
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    (informal) to return, or to make somebody return, to a normal way of thinking or behaving after a time when they have been very excited, not very practical, etc. see also down to earth
    disappear/vanish off the face of the earth
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    to disappear completely Keep looking—they can't just have vanished off the face of the earth.
    (British English, slang) to have sex (British English) to hide, especially to escape from somebody who is chasing you
    how, why, where, who, etc. on earth
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    (informal) used to emphasize the question you are asking when you are surprised or angry or cannot think of an obvious answer What on earth are you doing? How on earth can she afford that?
    to do everything you possibly can in order to achieve something used after negative nouns or pronouns to emphasize what you are saying Nothing on earth would persuade me to go with him.
    promise (somebody) the earth/moon/world
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    (informal) to make promises that will be impossible to keep Politicians promise the earth before an election, but things are different afterwards.
    run somebody/something to earth/ground
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    (British English) to find somebody/something after looking hard for a long time
    a very good and honest person that you can always depend on
    wipe somebody/something off the face of the earth, wipe something off the map
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    to destroy or remove somebody/something completely