\ ˈərth How to pronounce earth (audio) \

Definition of earth

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the fragmental material composing part of the surface of the globe especially : cultivable soil
2 : the sphere of mortal life as distinguished from spheres of spirit life — compare heaven, hell
3a : areas of land as distinguished from sea and air
b : the solid footing formed of soil : ground
4 often capitalized : the planet on which we live that is third in order from the sun — see Planets Table
5a : the people of the planet Earth
b : the mortal human body
c : the pursuits, interests, and pleasures of earthly life as distinguished from spiritual concerns
6 : the lair of a burrowing animal
7 : an excessive amount of money used with the real suede, which costs the earth to clean— Joanne Winship
on earth
used as an intensive to find out what on earth he was up to— Michael Holroyd


earthed; earthing; earths

Definition of earth (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to drive to hiding in the earth
2 : to draw soil about (plants) often used with up
3 chiefly British : ground sense 4

intransitive verb

of a hunted animal : to hide in the ground

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Other Words from earth


earthlike \ ˈərth-​ˌlīk How to pronounce earth (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for earth

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of earth in a Sentence

Noun The moisture will eventually fall to earth in the form of rain or snow. We could feel the earth shake.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ingenuity was built at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and is carrying some wing fabric from the Wright Flyer that made the first ever flight on earth at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903. Paul Best, Fox News, "NASA Mars helicopter 'Ingenuity' fails to take flight during fourth run, rescheduled to Friday," 30 Apr. 2021 But, if the transition takes three or four decades, no one will have an ice cap in the Arctic, either, and everyone who lives near a coast will be figuring out where on earth to go. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "Renewable Energy Is Suddenly Startlingly Cheap," 28 Apr. 2021 And right now, the emptiest places on earth can also feel the safest. Marcia Desanctis, Travel + Leisure, "Big Bend National Park Is One of the Most Remote Places in America — Here's How to See It," 25 Apr. 2021 Residents can stay in the village during static engine tests of the Starship, a reusable spacecraft that Musk hopes will someday carry people and cargo anywhere on earth and to the moon, Mars and beyond. Brandon Lingle, San Antonio Express-News, "'This is not SpaceX property - this is my property': SpaceX looks to recast South Texas town as 'Starbase'," 24 Apr. 2021 In a scenario far beyond Alfred Hitchcock's imagination, life on earth was stalked by an invisible enemy that binds its spikes to human cells, invades them, and then wages all-out war on the body. James Rosen, Star Tribune, "Young, Black, female and brilliant: Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett is a hero for our times," 22 Apr. 2021 Less than a year and a half ago, the world was blissfully, dangerously ignorant of the existence of a coronavirus that would soon turn life on earth on its head. STAT, "We know a lot about Covid-19. Experts have many more questions," 20 Apr. 2021 So why on earth is Abstract telling people that Brockhampton isn’t long for this world? Los Angeles Times, "‘I want to make big gay pop songs’: Kevin Abstract and Brockhampton ponder their future," 14 Apr. 2021 So staffers moved heaven and earth to make sure the partners were together. Michael Bush, Fortune, "How the Best Companies to Work For acted heroically in 2020," 12 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Step into nature, hike, perhaps try earthing (which is a practice of removing your shoes and walking on the earth to help rid you of stresses or clear your mind). Krystyna Chávez, Marie Claire, "How to Be More Spiritual in 2020," 14 Jan. 2020 The outer cylinder is earthed while the inner one is not, creating a capacitor. The Economist, "How to wring power from the night air," 1 Aug. 2019 Practitioner John Manning will discuss earthing on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Enfield Public Library, 104 Middle Road. Courant Community, "Community News For The Enfield Edition," 9 Jan. 2018 When the aerial is earthed, part of the carrier wave will be absorbed. The Economist, "Wireless dataA clever way to transmit data on the cheap," 13 Sep. 2017 But Truth in Advertising, a consumer advocacy group, cited earthing in a database of 50-some instances in which Goop promoted unsubstantiated products or claims. Olga Khazan, The Atlantic, "In Goop We Trust?," 12 Sep. 2017 Inside, the château is an equal marvel, perfectly restored and filled with contemporary art and, for balance, fragments of a meteorite that fell to earth 200 million years ago. Jon Maksik, Condé Nast Traveler, "Domaine des Etangs: A Memorable Stay at a French Château," 20 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'earth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of earth


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1575, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for earth


Middle English erthe, from Old English eorthe; akin to Old High German erda earth, Greek era

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Time Traveler for earth

Time Traveler

The first known use of earth was before the 12th century

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Statistics for earth

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Earth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for earth



English Language Learners Definition of earth

: the planet on which we live
: land as opposed to the sea, the air, etc.
: the material in which plants grow


\ ˈərth How to pronounce earth (audio) \

Kids Definition of earth

1 often capitalized : the planet that we live on
2 : land as distinguished from sea and air Snow fell to earth.
3 : soil entry 2 sense 1 a mound of earth

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