an inhabitant of earth; mortal.

Origin of earthling

First recorded in 1585–95; earth + -ling1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for earthling

tellurian, woman, man, humankind, person

Examples from the Web for earthling

Historical Examples of earthling

  • When, with several of them, he returned to the village, the Earthling was gone.

    Happy Ending

    Fredric Brown

  • They took the Earthling out with them, then, and tied him to a tree.

    Happy Ending

    Fredric Brown

  • The others tied the Earthling up and threw him into one of the huts.

    Happy Ending

    Fredric Brown

  • The Earthling looked off, unseeing, into a far corner of the room.


    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • "Ggaran, you explain it to the Earthling," said His Effulgence.


    L. J. Stecher

British Dictionary definitions for earthling



(esp in poetry or science fiction) an inhabitant of the earth; human being

Word Origin for earthling

C16: from earth + ling 1
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

Word Origin and History for earthling

Old English yrþling "plowman" (see earth + -ling); the sense of "inhabitant of the earth" is from 1590s. Earthman was originally (1860) "a demon who lives in the earth;" science fiction sense of "inhabitant of the planet Earth" first attested 1949 in writing of Robert Heinlein. Earlier in this sense was earthite (1825).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper