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[urth] /ɜrθ/
(often initial capital letter) the planet third in order from the sun, having an equatorial diameter of 7926 miles (12,755 km) and a polar diameter of 7900 miles (12,714 km), a mean distance from the sun of 92.9 million miles (149.6 million km), and a period of revolution of 365.26 days, and having one satellite.
the inhabitants of this planet, especially the human inhabitants:
The whole earth rejoiced.
this planet as the habitation of humans, often in contrast to heaven and hell:
to create a hell on earth.
the surface of this planet:
to fall to earth.
the solid matter of this planet; dry land; ground.
soil and dirt, as distinguished from rock and sand; the softer part of the land.
the hole of a burrowing animal; lair.
Chemistry. any of several metallic oxides that are difficult to reduce, as alumina, zirconia, and yttria.
Also called earth color. Fine Arts. any of various pigments consisting chiefly of iron oxides and tending toward brown in hue.
Chiefly British Electronics. a ground.
Archaic. a land or country.
verb (used with object)
Chiefly British Electronics. to ground.
move heaven and earth. heaven (def 8).
on earth, in the world:
Where on earth have you been?
run to earth,
  1. Hunting. to chase (an animal) into its hole or burrow:
    to run a fox to earth.
  2. to search out; track down:
    They ran the fugitive to earth in Algiers.
Origin of earth
before 950; Middle English erthe, Old English eorthe; cognate with German Erde, Dutch aarde, Old Norse jǫrth, Danish jord, Gothic airtha
3. Earth, globe, world are terms applied to the planet on which we dwell. Earth is used especially in speaking of a condition of existence contrasted with that in heaven or hell: those who are yet on earth. Globe formerly emphasized merely the roundness of the earth: to circumnavigate the globe. It is now used more like world, with especial application to the inhabitants of the earth and their activities, interests, and concerns. In this sense, both globe and world are more inclusive than earth and are used more abstractly: the politics of the globe; the future of the world; One World. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for earth
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In fact, contributions to the "new navy" from all corners of the earth.

    Submarine Warfare of To-day Charles W. Domville-Fife
  • There is not on earth a being stronger than a woman in the concealment of her love.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • I shall become a star in heaven, Light to earth by will be given.

    Sielanka: An Idyll Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • It was this which clouded Heaven to her at the moment that earth had become a desert.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • If earth repulsed him, heaven at the same time was closed for him.

    En Route J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans
British Dictionary definitions for earth


(sometimes capital) the third planet from the sun, the only planet on which life is known to exist. It is not quite spherical, being flattened at the poles, and consists of three geological zones, the core, mantle, and thin outer crust. The surface, covered with large areas of water, is enveloped by an atmosphere principally of nitrogen (78 per cent), oxygen (21 per cent), and some water vapour. The age is estimated at over four thousand million years. Distance from sun: 149.6 million km; equatorial diameter: 12 756 km; mass: 5.976 × 1024 kg; sidereal period of axial rotation: 23 hours 56 minutes 4 seconds; sidereal period of revolution about sun: 365.256 days related adjectives terrestrial tellurian telluric terrene
the inhabitants of this planet: the whole earth rejoiced
the dry surface of this planet as distinguished from sea or sky; land; ground
the loose soft material that makes up a large part of the surface of the ground and consists of disintegrated rock particles, mould, clay, etc; soil
worldly or temporal matters as opposed to the concerns of the spirit
the hole in which some species of burrowing animals, esp foxes, live
  1. a connection between an electrical circuit or device and the earth, which is at zero potential
  2. a terminal to which this connection is made US and Canadian equivalent ground
Also called earth colour. any of various brown pigments composed chiefly of iron oxides
(modifier) (astrology) of or relating to a group of three signs of the zodiac, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn Compare air (sense 20), fire (sense 24), water (sense 12)
(informal) cost the earth, to be very expensive
come back to earth, come down to earth, to return to reality from a fantasy or daydream
on earth, used as an intensifier in such phrases as what on earth, who on earth, etc
run to earth
  1. to hunt (an animal, esp a fox) to its earth and trap it there
  2. to find (someone) after searching
(intransitive) (of a hunted fox) to go to ground
(transitive) to connect (a circuit, device, etc) to earth
See also earth up
Word Origin
Old English eorthe; related to Old Norse jorth, Old High German ertha, Gothic airtha, Greek erā
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for earth

Old English eorþe "ground, soil, dry land," also used (along with middangeard) for "the (material) world" (as opposed to the heavens or the underworld), from Proto-Germanic *ertho (cf. Old Frisian erthe "earth," Old Saxon ertha, Old Norse jörð, Middle Dutch eerde, Dutch aarde, Old High German erda, German Erde, Gothic airþa), from PIE root *er- (2) "earth, ground" (cf. Middle Irish -ert "earth"). The earth considered as a planet was so called from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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earth in Medicine

earth (ûrth)
Any of several metallic oxides, such as alumina or zirconia, from which it is difficult to remove oxygen. No longer in technical use.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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earth in Science
  1. The third planet from the Sun and the densest planet in the solar system. Earth is a terrestrial or inner planet consisting of a thin outer crust, an intermediate mantle, and a dense inner core. It has an atmosphere composed primarily of nitrogen and oxygen and is the only planet on which water in liquid form exists, covering more than 70 percent of its surface. It is also the only planet on which life is known to have evolved, occupying the relatively thin region of water, land, and air known as the biosphere. Earth has a single, relatively large natural satellite, the Moon. See more at atmosphere, core, crust, mantle. See Table at solar system.

  2. earth

  3. Electricity See ground.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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earth in Culture

Earth definition

The planet on which we live — the third planet from the sun.

Note: The Earth was formed at the same time as the sun, about 4.6 billion years ago.
Note: It consists of an inner core made of iron and nickel, an outer core of liquid metal, a mantle, and, on the outside, a crust.
Note: The surface of the solid Earth is in a state of constant change as the rock is moved around by the processes of plate tectonics.
Note: On the Earth's surface, the oceans and the continents form the stage on which the evolution of life takes place. The atmosphere above the surface circulates, producing the daily weather.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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earth in the Bible

(1.) In the sense of soil or ground, the translation of the word _adamah'_. In Gen. 9:20 "husbandman" is literally "man of the ground or earth." Altars were to be built of earth (Ex. 20:24). Naaman asked for two mules' burden of earth (2 Kings 5:17), under the superstitious notion that Jehovah, like the gods of the heathen, could be acceptably worshipped only on his own soil. (2). As the rendering of _'erets_, it means the whole world (Gen. 1:2); the land as opposed to the sea (1:10). _Erets_ also denotes a country (21:32); a plot of ground (23:15); the ground on which a man stands (33:3); the inhabitants of the earth (6:1; 11:1); all the world except Israel (2 Chr. 13:9). In the New Testament "the earth" denotes the land of Judea (Matt. 23:35); also things carnal in contrast with things heavenly (John 3:31; Col. 3:1, 2).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with earth
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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