verb (used with object)
- 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
British Dictionary definitions for on earth
- a connection between an electrical circuit or device and the earth, which is at zero potential
- a terminal to which this connection is madeUS and Canadian equivalent: ground
- to hunt (an animal, esp a fox) to its earth and trap it there
- to find (someone) after searching
Word Origin for earth
Word Origin and History for on 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.
Medicine definitions for on earth
Science definitions for on earth
Culture definitions for on earth
Idioms and Phrases with on earth (1 of 2)
Also, in creation; in the world. Ever, anywhere, of all possible things. These phrases are all used for emphasis in questions or, less often, in a negative context. For example, What on earth is he doing with a spade? or Where in creation did that child go? or How in the world do you expect me to carry all those bags? [Late 1700s]
like nothing on earth. Incomparable. For example, That perfume smells like nothing on earth, or Her new hair color is like nothing on earth. [c. 1900]
Idioms and Phrases with on earth (2 of 2)
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.