land

1 of 2

noun

often attributive
1
a
: the solid part of the surface of the earth
also : a corresponding part of a celestial body (such as the moon)
b
: ground or soil of a specified situation, nature, or quality
dry land
c
: the surface of the earth and all its natural resources
2
: a portion of the earth's solid surface distinguishable by boundaries or ownership
bought land in the country
: such as
a
: country
the finest cheese in all the land
b
: a rural area characterized by farming or ranching
also : farming or ranching as a way of life
wanted to move back to the land
3
: realm, domain
in the land of dreams
sometimes used in combination
TV-land
4
: the people of a country
the land rose in rebellion
5
: an area of a partly machined surface (such as the inside of a gun barrel) that is left without machining
landless adjective
landlessness noun

land

2 of 2

verb

landed; landing; lands

transitive verb

1
: to set or put on shore from a ship : disembark
2
a
: to set down after conveying
b
: to cause to reach or come to rest in a particular place
never landed a punch
c
: to bring to a specified condition
his wit landed him in trouble
d
: to bring to a landing
land an airplane
e
: to complete successfully by landing
the skater landed all her jumps
3
a
: to catch and bring in
land a fish
b
: gain, secure
land a job
landed the leading role

intransitive verb

1
a
: to go ashore from a ship : disembark
b
of a ship or boat : to touch at a place on shore
2
a
: to come to the end of a course or to a stage in a journey : arrive
took a wrong turn and landed on a dead-end street
b
: to come to be in a condition or situation
landed in jail
c
: to strike or meet a surface (as after a fall)
landed on my head
d
: to alight on a surface

Examples of land in a Sentence

Noun the land along the highway The land stretched as far as you could see. They cleared some land to grow crops. After two days of sailing, we were miles from land. They invaded the country by land and by sea. They own land in Alaska. They bought some land and built a house. His lands extend as far as the eye can see. He was the most powerful politician in the land. the lands of the Far East Verb The plane landed on the runway. We watched the seaplanes landing on the water. The bird landed in a tree. A butterfly landed on the flower. Our flight was scheduled to land in Pittsburgh at 4:00. It was raining heavily at the airport when we landed. The pilot was able to land the plane on the runway. The golf ball landed in the trees. I could not see where the ball landed. The cat fell from the tree but landed on its feet. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
In the 1940s, the U.S. Navy transformed almost half of the island into a naval base, leaving locals with just a small section of land in the central third of the island. Carley Rojas Avila, Travel + Leisure, 10 Feb. 2024 Planning documents approved by Alexandria did not explicitly envision a sports arena being built in the neighborhood, where JBG Smith owns or controls 55 acres of land. Teo Armus, Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2024 One of the best ways for San Diegans to enjoy this dynamic is by camping in the county’s backyard desert, the Anza-Borrego, where the State Parks protects more than 600,000 acres of land — the largest state park in California. Maura Fox, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Feb. 2024 In Rome though, as land became more scarce, citizens began burying bodies in underground catacombs. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 8 Feb. 2024 After being released, carbon dioxide is absorbed by land and the oceans, but some of it remains in the atmosphere and traps greenhouse gases that warm up the planet. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 8 Feb. 2024 Last month was the hottest January ever recorded worldwide, both on land and at sea, scientists from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service shared in a statement this week. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Feb. 2024 Quiros used the funds to buy hundreds of acres of land, and several homes in Vermont. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, 29 Jan. 2024 Reservations were established when colonizing governments violently removed indigenous people from their property and forced them to live within the confines of smaller reserved plots of land. Maggie Freleng, Rolling Stone, 29 Jan. 2024
Verb
For existing ones, the restrictions will land on March 14. David Phelan, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 Under her leadership, Las Vegas finally landed pro sports, with a National Hockey League expansion team. Dana Jacobson, CBS News, 10 Feb. 2024 Around this time, a lawyer named Grace Taiga landed a new job at the ministry, as legal director. Jesse Barron, New York Times, 9 Feb. 2024 One of those images landed on a giant billboard in Times Square. Tatiana Siegel, Variety, 9 Feb. 2024 Studying Life Signatures on Mars In 2021, the Mars Perseverance Rover landed on top of lake deposits in Mars’ Jezero Crater. Robert Patalano, Discover Magazine, 9 Feb. 2024 Witnesses told the deputies that someone landed the plane, got out and walked away. California For Subscribers Steve Garvey touts ‘family values’ in his Senate bid. Noah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2024 At the show, Usher landed on stage mid-performance while holding onto a metal pole. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 8 Feb. 2024 Last year, Sony Music Publishing scored 12 synchs during the broadcast, Universal Music Publishing Group had nine and Warner Chappell Music landed six or seven. Steve Knopper, Billboard, 8 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'land.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English lond, land, going back to Old English, going back to Germanic *landa- (strong neuter noun), perhaps originally "untilled land" (whence also Old Frisian land, lond "land, earth, country, landed property," Old Saxon land, Old High German lant, Old Norse land, Gothic land "field, country"), going back to dialectal Indo-European *londh-o-, o-grade form of a noun with apparent zero-grade *ln̥dh-eh2- in Celtic *land-ā-, whence Old Irish land, lann "land, plot, church building," Welsh llan "church and its adjoining property, enclosure," also Old Irish ithlann "threshing floor" (with ith "grain"), Old Welsh itlann, glossing Latin ārea "threshing floor," Welsh ydlan "barnyard" (with ŷd "grain"); and probably in Elfdalian (dialect of north central Sweden) linda "overgrown field," Old Prussian lindan (accusative singular) "valley"; zero-grade *ln̥dh- or full grade *lendh- in Slavic *lęd-, whence Russian ljadá "uncultivated field with first-growth forest," Old Russian ljadina "wasteland, weeds, thick brush," Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian lèdina, ledìna "wasteland, virgin soil," Polish ląnd "dry land, mainland"

Note: The etymon is limited to northern European Indo-European: Celtic, Germanic, Slavic and (marginally) Baltic. E. Seebold (in F. Kluge, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, 22. Auflage, 1989) proposes a derivative *lem-dh- from a verbal base *lem- "break (ground)," whence Old Church Slavic lemešĭ "plow," Lithuanian lẽmežis "wooden part of the plough" (compare Old Church Slavic lomiti "to break"). The suggestion has also been made that the etymon was borrowed from a non-Indo-European language.

Verb

Middle English londen, landen, derivative of lond, land land entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near land

Cite this Entry

“Land.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/land. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

land

1 of 2 noun
1
: the solid part of the surface of the earth
2
: a portion of the earth's surface
fenced land
marshy land
3
4
: real estate
owns land in Alaska
landless adjective

land

2 of 2 verb
1
a
: to set or go ashore from a ship : disembark
b
: to stop at or near a place on shore
2
: to come down or bring down and settle on a surface
land a plane
3
: to bring to or arrive at a destination or a position or condition
land in jail
4
a
: to catch and bring in
land a fish
b
lander noun

Legal Definition

land

noun
1
: an area of the earth usually inclusive of improvements, bodies of water, and natural or man-made objects and extending indefinitely upward and downward compare air right
2
: an estate, interest, or right in land
land means both surface and mineral rightsCalifornia Public Resources Code

Biographical Definition

Land

biographical name

Edwin Herbert 1909–1991 American inventor and industrialist

More from Merriam-Webster on land

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