waste·​land | \ ˈwāst-ˌland How to pronounce wasteland (audio) 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 Set far in the future in the aftermath of a devastating nuclear war in the year 2077, Earth's terrain has been warped into a harsh wasteland overrun by mutants. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Fallout TV series set at Amazon from Westworld creators," 2 July 2020 In other words, mining is directly converting almost a third of this lush forest into a wasteland. Gladson Dungdung, Scientific American, "India's Coronavirus Refugees Are Also Development Refugees," 20 June 2020 To visualize the barren wasteland, filmmakers used the porous volcanic tufa towers in Mono Lake, California, and the eerie geothermal pools of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming as visual references. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "How the heck did Disney make 'The Lion King' feel so real? Your burning questions, answered," 18 July 2019 Far from being barren wastelands, deserts are biologically rich habitats with a vast array of animals and plants that have adapted to the harsh conditions there. Christina Nunez, National Geographic, "Deserts, explained," 12 June 2019 After a decade in the political wasteland, members of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party have chosen a moderate, un-flashy lawyer as their new leader. Olivia Konotey-ahulu, Bloomberg.com, "U.K. Labour Picks ‘Safe’ Keir Starmer as a Life-Raft in a Storm," 10 May 2020 Sometimes, television gets insulted as a vast wasteland or idiot box. Freep.com, "TV during the COVID-19 crisis: What are we watching?," 8 May 2020 Antarctica has a reputation as a wasteland where no trees grow, and where few large animals roam, save for penguins and seals. Matt Simon, Wired, "The Big (Yet Hidden) Consequences of Antarctica's Record Heat," 11 Feb. 2020 In the music video for the song, Gaga dances in a barren wasteland wearing all pink from head to toe, including her hair. Gabi Thorne, Allure, "Lady Gaga's Pink Double Ponytail Is Giving Us Total Sailor Moon Vibes," 6 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for wasteland

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wasteland

Last Updated

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wasteland.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wasteland. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce wasteland (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wasteland

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wasteland

Spanish Central: Translation of wasteland

Nglish: Translation of wasteland for Spanish Speakers

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