wilderness area

noun, often capitalized W&A

Definition of wilderness area 

: an often large tract of public land maintained essentially in its natural state and protected against introduction of intrusive artifacts (such as roads and buildings)

Examples of wilderness area in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Trump’s first stop on the continent was the west African country of Ghana—notable not for its wilderness areas but, historically, for being the major point of embarkation for African slaves. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Melania Trump Gave Us All a Valuable Lesson in How Not to Dress in Africa," 9 Oct. 2018 Zinke has presided over the largest rollback of federal land protections in US history, approved new development in wilderness areas, and opened up nearly all US coastal waters to offshore drilling. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke might face a criminal investigation," 5 Nov. 2018 The way lawmakers saw it, promoting the lands around Las Vegas as wilderness areas would diversify the tourism industry, attracting families — in addition to gamblers — to come to Vegas for recreation. Leah Sottile, Longreads, "Bundyville Chapter One: A War in the Desert," 15 May 2018 The pair were forced to spend a cold Monday night in the 63,960-acre wilderness area after getting lost while hiking, the California Highway Patrol's Valley Division Air Operations said on Facebook. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "Helicopter rescues hiker and her dog lost in Desolation Wilderness," 6 June 2018 The great challenge will be to produce enough food for this tremendous surge in population while also protecting enough wilderness areas to maintain some measure of the planet’s fast-depleting biodiversity. Mark Lynas, WSJ, "Confession of an Anti-GMO Activist," 22 June 2018 Olympic National Park is one of America's only wilderness areas that's uncrossed by highways and far from most commercial flight paths. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "Olympic National Park Is Home to the Quietest Spot in the Continental U.S.," 11 June 2018 North of Namakagon, the trail passes through two wilderness areas: Porcupine Lake and Rainbow Lake. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cable is one of Wisconsin's best trail towns," 7 June 2018 During his tenure, more than 70 wilderness areas in 31 states were brought under the Wilderness Act’s protection. Bart Barnes, Washington Post, "Stewart Brandborg, longtime leader of Wilderness Society, dies at 93," 19 Apr. 2018

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

1928, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for wilderness area

The first known use of wilderness area was in 1928

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More Definitions for wilderness area

wilderness area


English Language Learners Definition of wilderness area

: a large area of public land that is kept in its natural state

Comments on wilderness area

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a knickknack or trinket

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