waste·​land | \ ˈwāst-ˌland also -lənd How to pronounce wasteland (audio) \

Definition of wasteland

1 : barren or uncultivated land a desert wasteland
2 : an ugly often devastated or barely inhabitable place or area
3 : something (such as a way of life) that is spiritually and emotionally arid and unsatisfying

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Examples of wasteland in a Sentence

The outskirts of the city became a grim industrial wasteland. That part of the country is a cultural wasteland. the vast wasteland of television
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Recent Examples on the Web

This place, in my view, was more like wasteland than a place with very good nature. Washington Post, "World Cup has divisive legacy for Russia’s environment," 12 June 2018 This endless wasteland that breeds this longing and this frustration. Anna North, Vox, "How mass shooters practice their hate online," 4 Nov. 2018 On Tuesday, military helicopters flew 15 minutes from Tacloban to the wasteland of a town called Tanawan, past a lake with bodies still floating in it and over bridges that had collapsed. Todd Pitman, Fox News, "AP WAS THERE: 2013 typhoon kills thousands in Philippines," 15 Sep. 2018 Some people, focusing on the film's tangent of an authoritarian politician who disregards science and banishes scapegoats to wastelands, are saying the movie is reflecting the world events of today. Robert Morast, Houston Chronicle, "Wes Anderson talks 'Isle of Dogs'," 20 Mar. 2018 The city invested in a large renovation program that's transformed unsightly, post-industrial wasteland into a lovely riverside park. Paul Oswell, Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Best Things To Do In New Orleans," 4 Mar. 2018 All that remains of the village, located about 30 minutes from the center of Palu, is a muddy wasteland where only the very tips of roofs remain above ground in places. Andi Jatmiko, The Seattle Times, "Indonesia expert warned of quake, gov’t mapped risk areas," 9 Oct. 2018 Save for a sad packet of beef jerky and some granola bars that are more sugar than granola, the vending machines are a nutritional wasteland. Charlotte Hilton Andersen, Redbook, "Parenting Challenge: How Do You Get Through the Vending Machine Gauntlet?," 15 Jan. 2012 The small cabin has become quite the refuge from this dire nuclear wasteland. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Fallout 76 journal, day 4: the bombs are falling," 26 Nov. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

10 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for wasteland

The first known use of wasteland was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for wasteland



English Language Learners Definition of wasteland

: land where nothing can grow or be built : land that is not usable
: an ugly and often ruined place or area
: something that is being compared to a large, empty area of land because it has no real value or interest


waste·​land | \ ˈwāst-ˌland How to pronounce wasteland (audio) \

Kids Definition of wasteland

: land that is barren or not fit for crops

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More from Merriam-Webster on wasteland

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wasteland

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wasteland

Spanish Central: Translation of wasteland

Nglish: Translation of wasteland for Spanish Speakers

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of or relating to a parable or parabola

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