American English

Definition of land noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    surface of earth
  1. 1[uncountable] the surface of the earth that is not ocean It was good to be back on land. We made the trip by land, though flying would have been cheaper. In the distance the crew sighted land. The elephant is the largest living land animal. see also dry land 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 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 (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
  2. area of ground
  3. 2[uncountable] 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 in the east. a piece of waste/derelict land Some of the country's richest grazing lands are in these valleys.
  4. 3[uncountable] (formal lands [plural]) the area of ground that someone 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] an area for farming 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. Thesauruscountrylandscape 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, social, or economic features:She lives in the country. Texas is cattle country.landscape everything that you can see when you look across a large area of land, especially in the country:Iowa's landscape is mostly flat and grassy.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 town in the Vermont countrysideterrain (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) an area for farming:He has worked the land for twenty years. My parents grow all their own food and live off the land.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/wild/rugged country/landscape/countryside/terrain/scenery beautiful/glorious/dramatic country/landscape/countryside/scenery open country/landscape/countryside/terrain/land rolling 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 traveling 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 dreamland, fairyland, la-la land, 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. 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 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 Thesauruslandlot 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 a piece of land that is used or intended for a particular purpose:building lots a parking lotground (often used in compounds) an area of land that is used for a particular purpose:The kids were playing on a playground 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 land/ground/space (a/an) empty/vacant land/lot/ground/plotIdioms
    in the land of the living (often humorous)
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    awake or alive or no longer 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.
    in the land of Nod (old-fashioned) (humorous)
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    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 America—the land of milk and honey.
    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.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: land