[ urth ]
See synonyms for earth on
  1. (often initial capital letter) the planet third in order from the sun, having an equatorial diameter of 7,926 miles (12,755 km) and a polar diameter of 7,900 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.

  2. the inhabitants of this planet, especially the human inhabitants: The whole earth rejoiced.

  1. this planet as the habitation of humans, often in contrast to heaven and hell: to create a hell on earth.

  2. the surface of this planet: to fall to earth.

  3. the solid matter of this planet; dry land; ground.

  4. soil and dirt, as distinguished from rock and sand; the softer part of the land.

  5. the hole of a burrowing animal; lair.

  6. Chemistry. any of several metallic oxides that are difficult to reduce, as alumina, zirconia, and yttria.: Compare alkaline earth, rare earth.

  7. Also called earth color. Fine Arts. any of various pigments consisting chiefly of iron oxides and tending toward brown in hue.

  8. Chiefly British Electronics. a ground.

  9. Archaic. a land or country.

verb (used with object)
  1. Chiefly British Electronics. to ground.

Idioms about earth

  1. move heaven and earth. heaven (def. 8).

  2. on earth, in the world: Where on earth have you been?

  1. run to earth,

    • Hunting. to chase (an animal) into its hole or burrow: to run a fox to earth.

    • to search out; track down: They ran the fugitive to earth in Algiers.

Origin of earth

First recorded before 950; Middle English erthe, Old English eorthe; cognate with German Erde, Dutch aarde, Old Norse jǫrth, Danish jord, Gothic airtha

synonym study For earth

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.

Words Nearby earth Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use earth in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for earth


/ (ɜːθ) /

  1. (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 × 10 24 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

  2. the inhabitants of this planet: the whole earth rejoiced

  1. the dry surface of this planet as distinguished from sea or sky; land; ground

  2. 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

  3. worldly or temporal matters as opposed to the concerns of the spirit

  4. the hole in which some species of burrowing animals, esp foxes, live

    • a connection between an electrical circuit or device and the earth, which is at zero potential

    • a terminal to which this connection is made: US and Canadian equivalent: ground

  5. Also called: earth colour any of various brown pigments composed chiefly of iron oxides

  6. (modifier) astrology of or relating to a group of three signs of the zodiac, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn: Compare air (def. 20), fire (def. 24), water (def. 12)

  7. cost the earth informal to be very expensive

  8. come back to earth or come down to earth to return to reality from a fantasy or daydream

  9. on earth used as an intensifier in such phrases as what on earth, who on earth, etc

  10. run to earth

    • to hunt (an animal, esp a fox) to its earth and trap it there

    • to find (someone) after searching

  1. (intr) (of a hunted fox) to go to ground

  2. (tr) to connect (a circuit, device, etc) to earth

Origin of earth

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

Scientific definitions for Earth


[ ûrth ]

  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

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for Earth


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

Notes for Earth

The Earth was formed at the same time as the sun, about 4.6 billion years ago.

Notes for Earth

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.

Notes for Earth

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.

Notes for Earth

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 New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with earth


see down to earth; ends of the earth; four corners of the earth; move heaven and earth; not have an earthly chance; on earth; run to earth; salt of the earth.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.