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



    BrE BrE//lænd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//lænd//
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    surface of earth
  1. 1  [uncountable] the surface of the earth that is not sea It was good to be back on land. We made the journey by land, though flying would have been cheaper. In the distance the crew sighted land. The elephant is the largest living land animal. 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 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 (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 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 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
  2. see also dry land
    area of ground
  3. 2  [uncountable] (also lands [plural]) an area of ground, especially of a particular type or used for a particular purpose synonym terrain fertile/arid/stony, etc. land flat/undulating/hilly, etc. land agricultural/arable/industrial, etc. land The land was very dry and hard after the long, hot summer. The land rose to the east. a piece of waste/derelict land Some of the country's richest grazing lands are in these valleys. Synonymslandlot ground space plotThese words all mean an area of land that is used for a particular an area of ground, especially one that is used for a particular purpose:agricultural landlot (North American English) a piece of land that is used or intended for a particular purpose:building lots a parking lotground an area of land that is used for a particular purpose :The kids were playing on waste ground near the school. the site of an ancient burial groundland, lot or ground?Land is used for large areas of open land in the country, especially when it is used for farming. A lot is often a smaller piece of land in a town or city, especially one intended for building or parking on. Ground is any area of open land; a ground is an area of land designed or used for a particular purpose or a large area of land that has no buildings on it:The city has plenty of open space. the wide open spaces of the Canadian prairiesplot a small piece of land used or intended for a particular purpose:She bought a small plot of land to build a house. a vegetable plotlot or plot? Either a lot or a plot can be used for building on. Only a plot can also be used for growing vegetables or burying people.Patterns an open space open/​empty/​vacant/​waste/​derelict land/​ground a/​an empty/​vacant lot/​plot
  4. 3  [uncountable] (formal lands [plural]) the area of ground that somebody owns, especially when you think of it as property that can be bought or sold The price of land is rising rapidly. During the war their lands were occupied by the enemy. conflicts over tribal lands see also no-man’s-land
  5. countryside
  6. 4the land [uncountable] used to refer to the countryside and the way people live in the country as opposed to in cities At the beginning of the 20th century almost a third of the population lived off the land (= grew or produced their own food). Many people leave the land to find work in towns and cities. Synonymscountrylandscape countryside terrain land sceneryThese are all words for areas away from towns and cities, with fields, woods and (often the country) an area that is away from towns and cities, especially one with particular natural features:She lives in the country. an area of wooded countrylandscape everything that you can see when you look across a large area of land, especially in the country:This pattern of woods and fields is typical of the English landscape.countryside land outside towns and cities, with fields, woods and farms. Countryside is usually used when you are talking about the beauty or peacefulness of a country area:a little village in the French countryside.terrain (formal) land. Terrain is used when you are describing the natural features of an area, for example if it is rough, flat, etc:The truck bumped its way over the rough (usually the land) the countryside; the way people live in the country as opposed to in towns and cities:Many younger people are leaving the land to find work in the cities.scenery the natural features of an area, such as mountains, valleys, rivers and forests, especially when these are attractive to look at:We stopped on the mountain pass to admire the scenery.Patterns mountainous/​mountain/​wild/​rugged country/​landscape/​countryside/​terrain/​scenery beautiful/​glorious/​dramatic country/​landscape/​countryside/​scenery open country/​landscape/​countryside/​terrain/​land rolling country/​landscape/​countryside to protect the landscape/​countryside/​land
  7. country/region
  8. 5[countable] (literary) used to refer to a country or region in a way which appeals to the emotions or the imagination She longed to return to her native land. They dreamed of travelling to foreign lands. faraway lands beyond the sea America is the land of freedom and opportunity. the land of the fairies/elves/giants see also cloud cuckoo land, clubland, dockland, dreamland, fairyland, never-never land, Promised Land, wonderland There are many other compounds ending in land. You will find them at their place in the alphabet.
  9. Word Origin Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch land and German Land.Extra examples Anyone who thinks this legislation will be effective is living in cloud cuckoo land. Every scrap of land is used for growing food. Everyone had the right to graze animals on communal land. Good agricultural land is scarce. He journeyed to many distant lands. He was granted land by the king. He’s tired of living in cities, and wants to get back to the land. His family had always worked the land. It was good to be on dry land again after months at sea. It’s impossible to reach this beach by land because of the high cliffs. It’s very fertile countryside where you can just live off the land. She was all alone in a strange land. Some animals can live both on land and in water. The college owns vast tracts of land. The explorers reached land after a long voyage. The inhabitants of a village held land in common. The land has been cleared ready for building. The land was very dry after the long, hot summer. The new project will reclaim the land from the sea. The rush for fuel and food will lead to a global land grab. They finally got out of the town and reached open land. They were refused permission to develop the land. This used to be common land, where everyone had the right to graze animals. With the land forces defeated, everything now rested on the navy. a piece of land adjoining a disused railway line animals grazing on marginal land that was previously heath or moorland chains of volcanoes running along the edge of continental land masses land that is rich in mineral deposits prime building land rich agricultural land the Promised Land of progressive education the clearing of forested areas to create pastures and arable land the tribe’s ancestral lands Almost a third of the population live off the land. America was seen as the land of freedom and opportunity. Antarctica is the only continent without a land mammal population. At last we sighted land. He found himself all alone in a strange land. He owns 50 hectares of land in Scotland. Her family had farmed the land for generations. It was good to be back on dry land again. It’s an attractive village in the heart of the county’s agricultural lands. She longed to return to her native land. Sheep and goats can live quite happily on mountainous land like this. The land is parched and no crops grow here. The valley provides some rich grazing land for farmers. The wealthy colonists bought up vast tracts of land. There was a stretch of derelict land next to the railway. These remote tribal lands have been semi-autonomous for decades. They dreamed of travelling to faraway lands. They fought both at sea and on land. They own a small plot of land. We travelled mainly by land. a land mass that covers over a quarter of the earth’s surface an area of rich, fertile landIdioms
    in the land of the living
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    (often humorous) awake or alive or no longer ill/sick I’m glad to see you’re back in the land of the living. We were worried about you. By lunchtime I’d returned to the land of the living.
    (old-fashioned, humorous) asleep Pete and Jo were still in the land of Nod, so I went out for a walk in the morning sunshine.
    the land of milk and honey
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    a place where life is pleasant and easy and people are very happy He dreamed of emigrating to Canada—the land of milk and honey.
      the lie of the land(British English)(North American English the lay of the land)
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    1. 1the way the land in an area is formed and what physical characteristics it has The castle was hidden by the lie of the land.
    2. 2the way a situation is now and how it is likely to develop Check out the lie of the land before you make a decision.
    live off the fat of the land
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    to have enough money to be able to afford expensive things, food, drink, etc.
    to eat whatever food you can grow, kill or find yourself
    see, etc. how the land lies
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    (British English) to find out about a situation Let's wait and see how the land lies before we do anything.
    to collect information before deciding what to do
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: land