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: the fragmental material composing part of the surface of the globe
especially : cultivable soil
: the sphere of mortal life as distinguished from spheres of spirit life compare heaven, hell
: areas of land as distinguished from sea and air
: the solid footing formed of soil : ground
often capitalized : the planet on which we live that is third in order from the sun see Planets Table
: the people of the planet Earth
: the mortal human body
: the pursuits, interests, and pleasures of earthly life as distinguished from spiritual concerns
: the lair of a burrowing animal
: an excessive amount of money
used with the
real suede, which costs the earth to clean Joanne Winship
earthlike adjective


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earthed; earthing; earths

transitive verb

: to drive to hiding in the earth
: to draw soil about (plants)
often used with up
chiefly British : ground sense 4

intransitive verb

of a hunted animal : to hide in the ground
on earth
used as an intensive
to find out what on earth he was up to Michael Holroyd

Example Sentences

Noun The moisture will eventually fall to earth in the form of rain or snow. We could feel the earth shake.
Recent Examples on the Web
Date palms need water underground and dry heat above, and the summertime climate here, at the lowest point on earth, is perfect for this purpose, if unsuited for other purposes, like walking outdoors or thinking straight. Matti Friedman, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Dec. 2022 Future survival of humans on earth is bleak, with climatologists warning that world governments have only nine years from now to save future generations from climate change’s fatal devastation. Quartz, 14 Nov. 2022 After Madrid’s Iberseries and Mipcom in Cannes, who on earth would want to make another long trek to a third TV forum in less than two months? John Hopewell, Variety, 11 Nov. 2022 Bali attracts its fair share of travelers looking for a slice of heaven on earth. Dana Givens, Robb Report, 11 Nov. 2022 Your two favorite things on earth: HS and cold brew. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, 10 Nov. 2022 Washington, DC, is the home base of the most powerful government on earth. WIRED, 3 Nov. 2022 There have to be more Elvises per capita in Las Vegas than anywhere else on earth: Elvis singers, Elvis parade leaders, Elvis human selfie props, but most especially, Elvis wedding officiants. Annalisa Quinn,, 1 Nov. 2022 So since then, scientists have found tiny plastic particles everywhere on earth, in the Arctic where there really aren't people. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 31 Oct. 2022
Step into nature, hike, perhaps try earthing (which is a practice of removing your shoes and walking on the earth to help rid you of stresses or clear your mind). Krystyna Chávez, Marie Claire, 14 Jan. 2020 The outer cylinder is earthed while the inner one is not, creating a capacitor. The Economist, 1 Aug. 2019 Practitioner John Manning will discuss earthing on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Enfield Public Library, 104 Middle Road. Courant Community, 9 Jan. 2018 When the aerial is earthed, part of the carrier wave will be absorbed. The Economist, 13 Sep. 2017 But Truth in Advertising, a consumer advocacy group, cited earthing in a database of 50-some instances in which Goop promoted unsubstantiated products or claims. Olga Khazan, The Atlantic, 12 Sep. 2017 Inside, the château is an equal marvel, perfectly restored and filled with contemporary art and, for balance, fragments of a meteorite that fell to earth 200 million years ago. Jon Maksik, Condé Nast Traveler, 20 Apr. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'earth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



Middle English erthe, from Old English eorthe; akin to Old High German erda earth, Greek era

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1575, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of earth was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near earth

Cite this Entry

“Earth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



: the soft or granular material composing part of the surface of the globe
especially : soil that can be cultivated
: the place of mortal life as distinguished from heaven and hell
: land as distinguished from sea and air : ground
often capitalized : the planet on which we live see planet

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