Definition of badlands in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈbadˌlandz/

plural noun

1Extensive tracts of heavily eroded, uncultivable land with little vegetation.
Example sentences
  • One-hundred fifty years ago such herds could be found, not only in rugged mountain areas, but on badlands and river bluffs in the Northern Plains and canyon walls in eastern Oregon and the Southwest.
  • While surface erosion caused by water can produce dramatic landscapes in many badlands, a considerable amount of subsurface erosion in the form of tunnels can also occur.
  • Like those fictional cities, set against the fantasy geography of forests, mountains and badlands, it is a distinct point in space - it begins and it ends.
1.1 (the Badlands) A barren plateau region of the western US, mainly in southwestern South Dakota and northwestern Nebraska, south of the Black Hills, noted for its harsh terrain.


Mid 19th century (originally US): translation of French mauvaises terres.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bad·lands

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.