American English

Definition of earth noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    earth

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//ərθ//
     
     
    jump to other results
  1. 1 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!
  2. 2[uncountable, singular] land; the hard surface of the world that is not the ocean 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. Thesaurusfloorground 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 on land and at sea.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 used only when you want to contrast it with the sea:the land beneath our feet feel the land shake travel by ground/earthPatterns on/under the floor/ground/earth bare floor/ground/earth to drop to/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. Thesaurussoildirt mud dust clay land earth 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.dirt soil, especially loose soil:Pack the dirt firmly around the plants.mud wet soil that is soft and sticky:The car 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 pulled away.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 or where people are buried after they dieground an area of soil:The ground was still wet from the rain. They drove across miles of rough, rocky 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 (at/in) the soil/mud/clay/land/earth/ground to cultivate/plow the soil/land/earth
  4. 4 [countable] the hole where an animal, especially a fox, lives
  5. Idioms
    be, feel, look, taste, etc. like nothing on earth (informal)
     
    jump to other results
    to be, feel, look, taste, etc. very bad
    come back/down to earth (with a bang/bump), bring somebody (back) down to earth (with a bang/bump) (informal)
     
    jump to other results
    to return, or to make someone 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
    go to the ends of the earth
     
    jump to other results
    to do everything possible, even if it is difficult, in order to get or achieve something I'd go to the ends of the earth to see her again.
    how, why, where, who, etc. on earth (informal)
     
    jump to other results
    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?
    move heaven and earth
     
    jump to other results
    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 (informal)
     
    jump to other results
    to make promises that will be impossible to keep Politicians promise the earth before an election, but things are different afterward.
    the salt of the earth
     
    jump to other results
    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
     
    jump to other results
    to destroy or remove someone or something completely