Language: Old English
Origin: eorthe


1 noun
earth1 S2 W2


also Earth [singular, uncountable] the planet that we live on:
the planet Earth
the earth
The earth revolves around the sun.
the earth's surface/atmosphere/crust etc
71% of the earth's surface is sea.
on earth
the origin of life on Earth


[uncountable]TAS the substance that plants grow in [= soil]
soft/bare/damp etc earth
footprints in the wet earth
a lump of earth


[uncountable] the hard surface of the world, as opposed to the sea or air [= ground]:
The earth shook.
They watched the kite fall back to earth.
see usage note ground1

what/why/how etc on earth ...?

spoken used to ask a question when you are very surprised or angry:
What on earth did you do that for?

cost/pay/charge the earth

informal to cost etc a very large amount of money:
It must have cost the earth!

the biggest/tallest/most expensive etc ... on earth

the biggest etc example of something that exists:
the most powerful man on earth


[uncountable] used in religion to refer to the time when people are alive as opposed to being in heaven or hell:
Jesus' time on earth

➔ move heaven and earth

at heaven (9)

➔ hell on earth

at hell1 (2)

come back/down to earth (with a bump)

to stop behaving or living in a way that is not practical:
She soon brought him back down to earth.

no ... /nothing on earth

used to emphasize that you mean nothing at all:
Nothing on earth would have persuaded me to go.
There's no reason on earth why you should tell him.

look/feel etc like nothing on earth

British English to look or feel very strange:
The next morning I felt like nothing on earth.


[countable usually singular] British EnglishTEE a wire that makes a piece of electrical equipment safe by connecting it with the ground [= ground American English]

animal's home

[countable] the hole where a wild animal such as a fox lives [↪ den, lair]

go to earth

British English to hide in order to escape from someone who is chasing you [= go to ground]

run somebody/something to earth

British English to find someone, especially by looking in many places

➔ promise somebody the moon/the earth

at promise1 (3)

➔ the salt of the earth

at salt1 (2)

ground, land, earth, soil, floor
The ground is the surface that you walk on when you are outdoors There were a few flakes of snow on the ground. an area of muddy groundland is an area of ground that is owned or controlled by someone They were on his land. land set aside for housingIt is also the part of the earth's surface that is not covered in water animals that live on landearth or soil is the soft substance that covers the ground and that plants grow in Green shoots peeped through the earth. fertile soilThe Earth or earth is also the planet that we live on.The floor is the surface that you walk on when you are indoors There's mud all over the floor!See also ground

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