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 combinationTV-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 Looking at how well oysters are doing can help officials gauge what land use policies are working or need to be strengthened. Melody Schreiber, The New Republic, "Can Oysters Save Our Seas?," 6 Jan. 2021 According to state land records obtained by the Boston Globe, the sale of their Brookline mansion–located at 112 Woodland Road–took place on Christmas Eve. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen's Sprawling Massachusetts Mansion and NYC Apartment Have Both Sold," 6 Jan. 2021 The decision, which will open up more land in the western North Slope, is one of a number of pro-drilling actions taken by the Trump administration in its final days. NBC News, "Last-minute White House decision opens more Arctic land to oil leasing," 5 Jan. 2021 At the 206-acre Woodland Meadows landfill in Wayne's Van Buren Township, a county committee approved an expansion onto 146 acres of adjacent land in 2018, increasing the landfill's remaining capacity from seven years to nearly 40 years. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan sucks at recycling. Blame plentiful and cheap landfills," 5 Jan. 2021 Fuller said his association has approached the city with three questions: Are apartments the best use for commercial land and should they be concentrated in one area? Dallas News, "A moratorium on new apartments? Some Fort Worth city leaders think the city’s over-saturated," 4 Jan. 2021 The most notable case may be that of the billionaire Bass brothers of Texas, who bought up thousands of acres of arable land in the Imperial Valley in the 1990s. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Wall Street can now bet on the price of California water. Watch out," 3 Jan. 2021 It’s not necessarily a new concept — in parts of Southern California, farmers have been paid for more than a decade to fallow land. New York Times, "Wall Street Eyes Billions in the Colorado’s Water," 3 Jan. 2021 Kamara tested positive for coronavirus on Friday and was subsequently placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, becoming the tenth Saint this season to land on the COVID-19. Amie Just | Staff Writer,, "Saints to be without all RBs vs. Carolina due to contact tracing after Alvin Kamara's positive test," 2 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians would like to see Morris land another full-time job. Mark Heim |, al, "Buccaneers vs. Falcons live stream (12/20): How to watch NFL Week 15 online, TV, time," 20 Dec. 2020 Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians would like to see Morris land another full-time job. Charles Odum,, "Tom Brady, Bucs look to solidify playoff chances against Falcons," 19 Dec. 2020 Some companies argue that business commuters of the 2040s will take short hops, such as from D.C., to Philly, on six-seater electric vehicles that take off and land vertically. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The Weekly Planet: United Wants to Have Its Carbon and Eat It Too," 15 Dec. 2020 In a public relations exercise to reassure the public about flying on the Boeing 737 MAX when it is reintroduced in a few weeks, American Airlines has begun offering employees flights that take off and land at the same airport. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "If Covid Doesn’t Scare You, Then Neither Should This Plane," 4 Dec. 2020 The first act to land three No. 1 albums in a calendar year was Elvis Presley in 1957. Paul Grein, Billboard, "Taylor Swift & All the Acts Who Have Topped the Billboard 200 With Two (Or More!) Albums in a Calendar Year," 21 Dec. 2020 That might land you on the Public Health Do Not Board list, which means airlines won't issue you a boarding pass. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "Masks are a must. Middle seats will likely be full. 9 things to know if you haven't been on a plane this year," 19 Dec. 2020 Najee Harris approaching history: Not to be outdone by the trio of likely Heisman finalists, Harris is having his own spectacular season that will likely land him atop the Alabama record books by year’s end. Mike Rodak |, al, "What to watch when Alabama faces Florida in SEC championship," 18 Dec. 2020 Despite the quick turnaround of the decision, most crystal balls still favor OSU to land him. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Emeka Egbuka, top WR in 2021 recruiting class, sets commitment date: Buckeyes Recruiting," 9 Dec. 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

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Land.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for land


How to pronounce Land (audio)

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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