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 landless (audio) \ adjective
landlessness \ ˈland-​ləs-​nəs How to pronounce landlessness (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 In both regions, fires are set by farmers seeking to clear wild land for agriculture, encouraged by lax government policies. The Economist, "Biodiversity Natural disasters quicken an already precipitous global loss of species," 19 Sep. 2020 Set amid the 1990 Oka Crisis, a land dispute between Mohawks and authorities over plans for a development on sacred burial grounds in Quebec, Canada, the story is inspired by events from the director's own childhood. Thomas Page, CNN, "TIFF 2020 kicks off a strange start to the Oscars race," 18 Sep. 2020 But through late summer, demand for land and homes surged in the Northwoods — with a 36% increase in lakefront property sales in an area covering seven counties. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "As the pandemic grinds on, the Northwoods beckons many seeking solitude, natural social distancing," 18 Sep. 2020 State and federal grants, and funding assistance from non-profit organizations and private donors have supplemented town funding for a number of land acquisitions as a part of this long-standing program., "Community news for the Glastonbury edition," 18 Sep. 2020 Buyers gravitated away from San Francisco, particularly high-rise condos, in search of larger homes with more land, especially in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties. Kathleen Pender,, "‘Just mind-blowing’: Despite fires and virus, Bay Area home prices hit record," 17 Sep. 2020 Bobby Brown was the only Aggie to land on the First Team list. Hannah Underwood, Dallas News, "Eight Aggies land on preseason coaches All-SEC football teams," 17 Sep. 2020 Another popular route is the road around Otay Lakes in South County, which crosses through the cities of Chula Vista and San Diego and through unincorporated county land. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "New interactive online map aims to boost film and TV shoots in San Diego," 17 Sep. 2020 The city is currently in the midst of a one-year moratorium on issuing building permits within U2-zoned land. cleveland, "After Labor Day flooding, Pepper Pike Mayor Bain seeks to improve city’s storm sewer system," 17 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The president was expected to land in Minnesota later in the afternoon. Brooks Johnson, Star Tribune, "Biden, Trump stress jobs as they bring campaigns to northern Minnesota," 18 Sep. 2020 The act is the fifth to land a first Adult Alternative Songs No. 1 in 2020. Kevin Rutherford, Billboard, "My Morning Jacket Nabs First Adult Alternative Songs No. 1 With 'Feel You'," 16 Sep. 2020 It's also expected that more Halloween drinkware will land in traditional Starbucks' cafés before the end of the month. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "Starbucks' 2020 Halloween Tumbler Cups Glow In the Dark and Are Totally Blinged Out," 16 Sep. 2020 In early February, Nevada state epidemiologist Melissa Peek-Bullock learned from the local news about an airplane carrying three people who had been traveling in China, which was about to land in Las Vegas. USA Today, "How the CDC failed local public health officials fighting the coronavirus," 16 Sep. 2020 Perhaps more important, Oregon appears poised to finally land its first in-state five-star prospect in the modern recruiting rankings era. oregonlive, "Prediction: Will Oregon Ducks land 5-star center Nathan Bittle on Tuesday?," 15 Sep. 2020 The system is in the open Atlantic and there are no immediate threats to land. Carlie Wells,, "Hurricane Center tracking Tropical Storm Paulette, Tropical Depression Rene: See latest tracks," 9 Sep. 2020 Another takeaway from early mock drafts is the amount of them that predict offensive linemen and cornerbacks to land in Arizona with the Cardinals' first pick. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, "NFL mock draft: Arizona Cardinals get cornerback, offensive line help in 2021 NFL draft," 30 Aug. 2020 The process led by the practitioner is purely practical, like air traffic control directing you to land while the view from the plane window remains completely private. Nathalie Olah,, "My Experience Of EMDR – The Cutting Edge Therapy Used To Treat Trauma," 12 July 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

21 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Land.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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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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