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earth Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the 3rd planet from the sun; the planet we live on
    globe; world.
    • the Earth moves around the sun
    • he sailed around the world
  2. noun the loose soft material that makes up a large part of the land surface
    • they dug into the earth outside the church
  3. noun the solid part of the earth's surface
    dry land; land; terra firma; solid ground; ground.
    • the plane turned away from the sea and moved back over land
    • the earth shook for several minutes
    • he dropped the logs on the ground
  4. noun the abode of mortals (as contrasted with Heaven or Hell)
    • it was hell on earth
  5. noun once thought to be one of four elements composing the universe (Empedocles)
  6. noun the concerns of this life as distinguished from heaven and the afterlife
    world; worldly concern; earthly concern.
    • they consider the church to be independent of the world
  7. noun a connection between an electrical device and a large conducting body, such as the earth (which is taken to be at zero voltage)
  8. verb hide in the earth like a hunted animal
  9. verb connect to the earth
    • earth the circuit

Earth noun
AS. eore; akin to OS. ertha, OFries. irthe, D. aarde, OHG. erda, G. erde, Icel. jör, Sw. & Dan. jord, Goth. airpa, OHG. ero, Gr. , adv., to earth, and perh. to E. ear to plow.
  1. The globe or planet which we inhabit; the world, in distinction from the sun, moon, or stars. Also, this world as the dwelling place of mortals, in distinction from the dwelling place of spirits.
    That law preserves the earth a sphere And guides the planets in their course. S. Rogers.
    In heaven, or earth, or under earth, in hell. Milton.
  2. The solid materials which make up the globe, in distinction from the air or water; the dry land.
    God called the dry land earth. Gen. i. 10.
    He is pure air and fire, and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him. Shak.
  3. The softer inorganic matter composing part of the surface of the globe, in distinction from the firm rock; soil of all kinds, including gravel, clay, loam, and the like; sometimes, soil favorable to the growth of plants; the visible surface of the globe; the ground; as, loose earth; rich earth.
    Give him a little earth for charity. Shak.
  4. A part of this globe; a region; a country; land.
    Would I had never trod this English earth. Shak.
  5. Worldly things, as opposed to spiritual things; the pursuits, interests, and allurements of this life.
    Our weary souls by earth beguiled. Keble.
  6. The people on the globe.
    The whole earth was of one language. Gen. xi. 1.
  7. (Chem.) (a) Any earthy-looking metallic oxide, as alumina, glucina, zirconia, yttria, and thoria. (b) A similar oxide, having a slight alkaline reaction, as lime, magnesia, strontia, baryta.
  8. A hole in the ground, where an animal hides himself; as, the earth of a fox. Macaulay.
    They [ferrets] course the poor conies out of their earths. Holland.
    Earth is used either adjectively or in combination to form compound words; as, earth apple or earth-apple; earth metal or earth-metal; earth closet or earth-closet.
Earth transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Earthed ; present participle & verbal noun Earthing
  1. To hide, or cause to hide, in the earth; to chase into a burrow or den. "The fox is earthed." Dryden.
  2. To cover with earth or mold; to inter; to bury; -- sometimes with up.
    The miser earths his treasure, and the thief, Watching the mole, half beggars him ere noon. Young.
    Why this in earthing up a carcass? R. Blair.
Earth intransitive verb
  1. To burrow. Tickell.
Earth noun
From Ear to plow.
  1. A plowing. Obs.
    Such land as ye break up for barley to sow, Two earths at the least, ere ye sow it, bestow. Tusser.

Webster 1913