waste·​land | \ˈwāst-ˌland also -lənd \

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

Our preview experience started inside Vault 76 itself, an extremely messy space still reeling from a party celebrating the residents' impending departure into the post-nuclear wasteland of West Virginia. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Hands-on: Fallout 76 lets you bring some company to the Apocalypse," 8 Oct. 2018 By transporting users back in time to the moment when a city was turned into a wasteland, the students and their teacher hope to ensure that something similar never happens again. Haruka Nuga, The Seattle Times, "Japanese students use VR to recreate Hiroshima bombing," 7 Aug. 2018 In a show that explores the present attack on reproductive justice, West imagines a broken society rapidly declining into a dusty, arid wasteland. Kt Hawbaker, chicagotribune.com, "With 2018-19 season, Jackalope Theatre Company to stage two world premieres," 10 July 2018 In general, though, wandering around the wasteland with three other people is a lot less lonely than the usual Fallout experience. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Hands-on: Fallout 76 lets you bring some company to the Apocalypse," 8 Oct. 2018 And, crucially, the brand is not so much the park but rather the transformation of the old industrial wasteland into the new recreational amenity. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "How Brooklyn Lost Itself," 6 July 2018 Until the miners arrived, these dunes were a quasi-barren wasteland — good only for weekend adventurers zipping around on buggies. David Wethe / Bloomberg, Time, "Why This Sand From Texas Is Suddenly Worth $80 a Ton," 10 July 2018 Janine and Ofglen, Alexis Bledel’s now series-regular character, have both been exiled to the Colonies, a barren wasteland the show will depict for the first time this year. Paul Chi, HWD, "The Handmaid's Tale vs. Trump's America," 19 Mar. 2018 In effect, Argentina’s strength is all in one place; too much of the rest of the team is a wasteland. Rory Smith, New York Times, "How Argentina Lost Its Way. (Spoiler: It’s Not Messi’s Fault.)," 22 June 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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Statistics for wasteland

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wasteland

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

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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 \

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

Comments on wasteland

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to enclose within walls

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