noun, often attributive
\ ˈland How to pronounce land (audio) \

Definition of land

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the solid part of the surface of the earth also : a corresponding part of a celestial body (such as the moon)
b : ground or soil of a specified situation, nature, or quality dry land
c : the surface of the earth and all its natural resources
2 : a portion of the earth's solid surface distinguishable by boundaries or ownership bought land in the country : such as
a : country the finest cheese in all the land
b : a rural area characterized by farming or ranching also : farming or ranching as a way of life wanted to move back to the land
3 : realm, domain in the land of dreams sometimes used in combination TV-land
4 : the people of a country the land rose in rebellion
5 : an area of a partly machined surface (such as the inside of a gun barrel) that is left without machining


landed; landing; lands

Definition of land (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to set or put on shore from a ship : disembark
2a : to set down after conveying
b : to cause to reach or come to rest in a particular place never landed a punch
c : to bring to a specified condition his wit landed him in trouble
d : to bring to a landing land an airplane
e : to complete successfully by landing the skater landed all her jumps
3a : to catch and bring in land a fish
b : gain, secure land a job landed the leading role

intransitive verb

1a : to go ashore from a ship : disembark
b of a ship or boat : to touch at a place on shore
2a : to come to the end of a course or to a stage in a journey : arrive took a wrong turn and landed on a dead-end street
b : to come to be in a condition or situation landed in jail
c : to strike or meet a surface (as after a fall) landed on my head
d : to alight on a surface


biographical name
\ ˈland How to pronounce Land (audio) \

Definition of Land (Entry 3 of 3)

Edwin Herbert 1909–1991 American inventor and industrialist

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Other Words from land


landless \ ˈland-​ləs How to pronounce Land (audio) \ adjective
landlessness \ ˈland-​ləs-​nəs How to pronounce Land (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for land

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of land in a Sentence

Noun the land along the highway The land stretched as far as you could see. They cleared some land to grow crops. After two days of sailing, we were miles from land. They invaded the country by land and by sea. They own land in Alaska. They bought some land and built a house. His lands extend as far as the eye can see. He was the most powerful politician in the land. the lands of the Far East Verb The plane landed on the runway. We watched the seaplanes landing on the water. The bird landed in a tree. A butterfly landed on the flower. Our flight was scheduled to land in Pittsburgh at 4:00. It was raining heavily at the airport when we landed. The pilot was able to land the plane on the runway. The golf ball landed in the trees. I could not see where the ball landed. The cat fell from the tree but landed on its feet.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The view became clearer as great thinkers built ever more powerful telescopes and launched complicated machines, first to fly past Mars, then to loop around the planet, and finally to land. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "Mars Has Never Felt Closer to Home," 23 Feb. 2021 The pilots landed at Liege Airport in Belgium instead of returning to Maastricht Aachen Airport because the runway offered more space to land safely. New York Times, "Engine Maker Under Scrutiny After Series of Aircraft Mishaps," 22 Feb. 2021 Perseverance is the ninth spacecraft to land safely on Mars since the 1970s. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "NASA’s rover Perseverance touched down on Mars. What’s next?," 20 Feb. 2021 After zipping hundreds of millions of miles through space, the Mars rover Perseverance is just minutes away from attempting to land on the red planet in what has been described as one of the most daring robotic maneuvers in NASA’s history. NBC News, "NASA's Mars rover is minutes away from a nail-biting landing attempt," 18 Feb. 2021 The Perseverance rover, which launched last July, is the biggest vehicle NASA has ever attempted to land on Mars, weighing over a metric ton and carrying 50% more science and technology than Curiosity, which landed in 2012. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "How NASA's Mars Perseverance rover will make the most difficult landing ever attempted on the red planet," 18 Feb. 2021 Perseverance, the biggest, most advanced rover ever sent by NASA, became the ninth spacecraft to successfully land on Mars, every one of them from the U.S. Marcia Dunn, Chron, "NASA rover lands on Mars to look for signs of ancient life," 18 Feb. 2021 A day before Perseverance is to land on Mars, NASA briefs on the rover's journey to search for ancient life on the planet. Shawn J. Sullivan, USA Today, "NASA holds a virtual briefing on its latest mission to Mars," 17 Feb. 2021 Another measure soon to land on the governor’s desk has stirred a fair amount of controversy. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Five big actions from Utah lawmakers this week," 13 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But crickets are still a-chirping in Pump Rules land. Lia Beck,, "Is Vanderpump Rules Ever Coming Back?," 4 Feb. 2021 Now, say 10,000 people played 100 times each, without assuming all players land on heads exactly 50% of the time. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "Wall Street Bets Big on China," 14 Dec. 2020 Artemis program is considering using Starship to land astronauts on the lunar surface, for example, and the first of those touchdowns is targeted for 2024. Mike Wall, Scientific American, "SpaceX’s Starship SN8 Prototype Soars on Epic Test Launch, with Explosive Landing," 10 Dec. 2020 This was one heck of a test-flight that addressed a number of unknowns about Starship, which is the upper stage of SpaceX's new launch system and may one day land humans on the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "So, it turns out SpaceX is pretty good at rocketing," 10 Dec. 2020 Blue Origin, the rocket company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, says test firings at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama are proving its BE-7 rocket engine can win the competition to land humans on the moon. Lee Roop |, al, "Watch Blue Origin test its moon lander engine in Alabama," 4 Dec. 2020 That kind of thinking helped Coffman land the Top Workplace award for small companies this year. Jonathan Wosen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Top-ranked small company: Coffman Engineers, where having a good time is all in a day’s work," 15 Nov. 2020 Which is what helped him land, in some ways, the biggest IndyCar free agent on the market. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Helio Castroneves joining Meyer Shank Racing could be a perfect marriage," 10 Nov. 2020 Toyota helped Jones land a full-time ride in the Truck Series with Kyle Busch Motorsports, then moved him through NASCAR’s national ladder with Gibbs. Jenna Fryer, Detroit Free Press, "NASCAR: Michigan's Erik Jones will drive Richard Petty's iconic No. 43 in 2021," 21 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'land.' 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 land


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


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for land


Middle English lond, land, going back to Old English, going back to Germanic *landa- (strong neuter noun), perhaps originally "untilled land" (whence also Old Frisian land, lond "land, earth, country, landed property," Old Saxon land, Old High German lant, Old Norse land, Gothic land "field, country"), going back to dialectal Indo-European *londh-o-, o-grade form of a noun with apparent zero-grade *ln̥dh-eh2- in Celtic *land-ā-, whence Old Irish land, lann "land, plot, church building," Welsh llan "church and its adjoining property, enclosure," also Old Irish ithlann "threshing floor" (with ith "grain"), Old Welsh itlann, glossing Latin ārea "threshing floor," Welsh ydlan "barnyard" (with ŷd "grain"); and probably in Elfdalian (dialect of north central Sweden) linda "overgrown field," Old Prussian lindan (accusative singular) "valley"; zero-grade *ln̥dh- or full grade *lendh- in Slavic *lęd-, whence Russian ljadá "uncultivated field with first-growth forest," Old Russian ljadina "wasteland, weeds, thick brush," Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian lèdina, ledìna "wasteland, virgin soil," Polish ląnd "dry land, mainland"

Note: The etymon is limited to northern European Indo-European: Celtic, Germanic, Slavic and (marginally) Baltic. E. Seebold (in F. Kluge, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, 22. Auflage, 1989) proposes a derivative *lem-dh- from a verbal base *lem- "break (ground)," whence Old Church Slavic lemešĭ "plow," Lithuanian lẽmežis "wooden part of the plough" (compare Old Church Slavic lomiti "to break"). The suggestion has also been made that the etymon was borrowed from a non-Indo-European language.


Middle English londen, landen, derivative of lond, land land entry 1

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Time Traveler for land

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for land

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Land.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for land



English Language Learners Definition of land

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the solid part of the surface of the Earth : an area of ground
: an area of the earth's solid surface that is owned by someone
: a country or nation



English Language Learners Definition of land (Entry 2 of 2)

: to return to the ground or another surface after a flight
: to cause (an airplane, helicopter, etc.) to return to the ground or another surface after a flight
: to hit or come to a surface after falling or moving through the air


\ ˈland How to pronounce land (audio) \

Kids Definition of land

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the solid part of the surface of the earth
2 : an area of ground or soil of a particular kind fertile land
3 : a part of the earth's surface marked off by boundaries They bought some land.
4 : a country or nation your native land
5 : the people of a country All the land rose in rebellion.

Other Words from land

landless \ -​ləs \ adjective


landed; landing

Kids Definition of land (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to go ashore or cause to go ashore from a ship The troops landed on the island.
2 : to come down or bring down and settle on a surface The airplane landed.
3 : to hit or come to a surface I fell and landed on my back.
4 : to be or cause to be in a particular place or condition He landed in jail.
5 : to catch and bring in land a fish
6 : to succeed in getting land a job



Legal Definition of land

1 : an area of the earth usually inclusive of improvements, bodies of water, and natural or man-made objects and extending indefinitely upward and downward — compare air right
2 : an estate, interest, or right in land land means both surface and mineral rightsCalifornia Public Resources Code

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More from Merriam-Webster on land

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for land

Nglish: Translation of land for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of land for Arabic Speakers

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