[ urth ]
/ ɜrθ /
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verb (used with object)
Chiefly British Electronics. to ground.
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Idioms about earth

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does earth mean?

Earth with a capital E refers to the third planet from our sun, as in Mars fascinates me, but Earth will always be my home.

Lowercased, earth most often refers to the surface material of our planet, including rock, soil, and dirt, as in The bulldozer moved so much earth out of the building lot that if I jumped in the hole, I couldn’t get out again.

Earth can also refer to the entire human population, representing the Earth as a planet of people, rather than a giant rock floating in space, as in The whole earth was worried about COVID-19.

Example: Earth revolves around the sun about every 365 days.

Where does earth come from?

The first records of the term earth come from before 950. It comes from the Old English eorthe.

The Earth we live on and the earth we stand on are so much a part of our lives that it’s no wonder we have so many senses of this word. In chemistry, earth refers to some metallic oxides that are hard to reduce, such as alumina and zirconia. In hunting, earth is an animal’s den that is low to the ground. In the fine arts, earth can be a color that tends to be a brown hue. And if a food has an earthy smell, it will smell of moist dirt, such as potatoes and carrots sometimes do.

You’ll see earth used in figurative senses, too. If your friend “moves heaven and earth” to get tickets for the big concert, they are making a huge effort to get those tickets. If your mother asks you, “Where on earth have you been?” she is using earth to emphasize her question about your location. If someone says you’re a “down to earth” person, they mean that you’re practical and realistic. And if you hear news that is “earth-shattering,” the news is shocking or traumatic.

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What are some other forms related to earth?

What are some synonyms for earth?

What are some words that share a root or word element with earth? 

What are some words that often get used in discussing earth?

How is earth used in real life?

Earth is a common word used to talk about the planet we live on or its surface.



Try using earth!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for earth?

A. clay
B. dirt
C. soil
D. wind

How to use earth in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for earth

/ (ɜːθ) /

(intr) (of a hunted fox) to go to ground
(tr) to connect (a circuit, device, etc) to earth
See also earth up

Word Origin for 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 ]

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.
Electricity See ground.
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.