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: the fragmental material composing part of the surface of the globe
especially : cultivable soil
: the sphere of mortal life as distinguished from spheres of spirit life compare heaven, hell
: areas of land as distinguished from sea and air
: the solid footing formed of soil : ground
often capitalized : the planet on which we live that is third in order from the sun see Planets Table
: the people of the planet Earth
: the mortal human body
: the pursuits, interests, and pleasures of earthly life as distinguished from spiritual concerns
: the lair of a burrowing animal
: an excessive amount of money
used with the
real suede, which costs the earth to cleanJoanne Winship
earthlike adjective


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earthed; earthing; earths

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

of a hunted animal : to hide in the ground
on earth
used as an intensive
to find out what on earth he was up toMichael Holroyd

Example Sentences

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
Fungus Festival: Cordova, Sept. 8-10 Cordova’s 17th annual Fungus Festival will be all about foraging and discovering the hidden treasures of the earth. Anchorage Daily News, 29 May 2023 Among some Sudanese, there is a belief that the soul continues to walk the earth for 40 days after death. Ted Genoways, The New Republic, 25 May 2023 Paul Wong, artistic director at the time, helped Jaramillo use hand-ground earth pigments and linens to make the delicate pieces. Eva Recinos, Los Angeles Times, 18 May 2023 For a touch of elegance, the hands and indexes come in 18-karat gold, while the dial is slightly domed to match the curvature of the earth. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 17 May 2023 Among these groupings are the four elemental types, or triplicities: earth signs, air signs, water signs, and fire signs—the feistiest of them all. Women's Health, 12 May 2023 Most people on this earth are far more comfortable in a monogamous relationship. Rachel Rabbit White, ELLE, 5 May 2023 Of these there is one standout golf resort, COMO Laucala Island in Fiji, better known as Red Bull Island, because the billionaire founder of Red Bull bought it (previously owned by Malcom Forbes), and converted it into one of the most exclusive - if not the most exclusive - luxury resorts on earth. Larry Olmsted, Forbes, 4 May 2023 The man—who a matter of years later was named the richest person on earth—had just purchased Fox Software, a producer of database management systems, for $170 million. Eleanor Pringle, Fortune, 2 May 2023
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, 14 Jan. 2020 The outer cylinder is earthed while the inner one is not, creating a capacitor. The Economist, 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, 9 Jan. 2018 When the aerial is earthed, part of the carrier wave will be absorbed. The Economist, 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, 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, 20 Apr. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'earth.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


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


1575, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near earth

Cite this Entry

“Earth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: the soft or granular material composing part of the surface of the globe
especially : soil that can be cultivated
: the place of mortal life as distinguished from heaven and hell
: land as distinguished from sea and air : ground
often capitalized : the planet on which we live see planet

More from Merriam-Webster on earth

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