There are 2 main definitions of land in English:

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land 1

Pronunciation: /land/


1The part of the earth’s surface that is not covered by water, as opposed to the sea or the air: the reptiles lay their eggs on land after four weeks at sea we sighted land
More example sentences
  • The way solar radiation is absorbed by the Earth's surface depends primarily on whether the surface is land or sea.
  • There are 26,000 million insects living in every square mile of habitable land on Earth.
  • When the Earth is viewed from space on a cloudless day, all that can be seen are the edges of land, sea and icecaps.
1.1 [as modifier] Living or traveling on land rather than in water or the air: a land mammal
More example sentences
  • Every living land animal with a backbone is descended from the same group of fish.
  • And then, as now, it was essentially a debate between maritime forces and land forces.
  • The African elephant is the largest living land animal and weighs up to 5,400 kg.
1.2An expanse of land; an area of ground, especially in terms of its ownership or use: the land north of the village (lands) the Indians were wiped out as gold prospectors invaded their lands
More example sentences
  • Any land over 5 hectares that is not urban land is also covered by the proposed regime.
  • On every edge of the suburbs were hayfields, waste lands, ditches and culverts.
  • Arable land is one thing the Eastern Cape is not short of but development of much of this has been slow or non-existent.
grounds, fields, terrain, territory, open space;
property, landholding, acres, acreage, lands, real estate, realty, estate
historical demesne
soil, earth, loam, topsoil, humus;
1.3 (the land) Ground or soil used as a basis for agriculture: my family had worked the land for many years
More example sentences
  • Edna Beard fell in love with the countryside while working the land to feed a nation at war.
  • She is a country person who believes in using the products of the land.
  • Savory also noted that too much rest was as bad for the land as too much grazing.
the countryside, the country, rural areas, farmland, agricultural land
2A country: the valley is one of the most beautiful in the land the lands of the Middle East America, the land of political equality
More example sentences
  • They are fleeing from the dire economic and social circumstances in their own lands to countries that offer them a better future.
  • Publishers would have to take account of the law of every land on Earth.
  • As he travelled across the land evangelizing at revival meetings he took the lads with him.
region, area, domain
2.1A conceptual realm or domain: you are living in a fantasy land
More example sentences
  • Through reading the Harry Potter series, it would seem many want to enter children's imaginary fantasy lands, too.
  • Sitting at your desk, making statues out of paperclips, it's easy to drift off into a fantasy land of ice cream and beaches.
  • Do not be afraid of disappearing into a fantasy land of castles, maidens and jousting knights for an hour or two.
3The space between the rifling grooves in a gun.
Example sentences
  • What is radical about the Briley design is that it is rifled with six, straight, equally spaced lands and grooves.
  • The rotating band contacts the lands and grooves at the forcing cone.
  • Since it uses a reverse electroplating process, there's no abrasive action from bore scouring brushes and no possibility of scratching the lands and grooves.


1 [with object] Put (someone or something) on land from a boat: the lifeboat landed the survivors safely ashore
More example sentences
  • The survivor was treated for the effects of drinking seawater, and landed ashore, where he went on to make a full recovery.
  • The rescued fishermen were transferred to the lifeboat and landed at Valentia Island but luckily none of the men were injured.
  • All but one of the crew were picked up by the Mevagissey lifeboat and landed there.
1.1 [no object] Go ashore; disembark: the marines landed at a small fishing jetty
More example sentences
  • When the US marines landed in the south, an armoured column immediately set out to meet them, eager at last to engage the enemy.
  • It's a bay in south-western Cuba, in which US marines landed in 1898 during the Cuban War of Independence.
  • As a combat correspondent in World War IL, he landed with the marines at Guam and Iwo Jima.
disembark, go ashore, debark, alight, get off
1.2Bring (a fish) to land, especially with a net or hook: I landed a scrappy three-pound walleye
More example sentences
  • Pat Gannon landed his first Salmon of the season, a nice 10.5 lb fish at the Gannon fishery.
  • International golfer Mark O'Meara was one of those to land a summer salmon, when he hooked and landed an 11 lb fish on the 5th.
  • Some very good fish have been landed in the past week, with more being hooked and lost.
1.3 informal Succeed in obtaining or achieving (something desirable), especially in the face of strong competition: she landed the starring role in a new film
More example sentences
  • It was in 1997 that Chris won his first major prize in an open competition by landing the President's Cup and the awards have come thick and fast since then.
  • Dermot Weld's feat in landing a second Melbourne Cup is a remarkable achievement.
  • He blindsided the competition by landing Wolfgang Reitzle to run the Premier Auto Group.
obtain, get, acquire, secure, be appointed to, gain, net, win, achieve, attain, carry off
informal bag
2 [no object] Come down through the air and alight on the ground: planes landing at the rate of two a minute
More example sentences
  • We flew on a turboprop military plane and landed on the carrier.
  • Before noon, the plane landed on a single runway near town.
  • He said police in a helicopter landed on their farm shortly before 5am with a search warrant.
touch down, make a landing, come in to land, come down
2.1 [with object] Bring (an aircraft or spacecraft) to the ground or the surface of water, especially in a controlled way: the copilot landed the plane
More example sentences
  • The aircraft was immediately landed thereafter and the airframe was inspected.
  • The crew landed the aircraft without further incident.
  • With enemy cavalry approaching, LT McNamara landed his own aircraft under heavy fire.
2.2Reach the ground after falling or jumping: he leaped over the fence and landed nimbly on his feet
More example sentences
  • Brian went toppling over, landing with a splash in the pool.
  • The lack of tread on the soles saw me fly into the air and nearly land face first on the treadmill.
  • The distracted cyclist flew over the handlebars and landed on the pavement.
2.3 [with adverbial of place] (Of an object) come to rest after falling or being thrown: the plate landed in her lap
More example sentences
  • You'd need to create a diversion, by throwing a rock that lands behind them, making a noise and distracting them temporarily.
  • He then grabbed my flashlight and threw it so it landed right by my purse.
  • I dropped my fork on the glass plate and it landed with a small ‘clank’.
2.4 informal (Of something unpleasant or unexpected) arrive suddenly: there seemed to be more problems than ever landing on her desk this week
More example sentences
  • After we pointed out the many health-giving qualities of the brown stuff, a press release lands on our desk confirming that it is good for you.
  • As I'd been scrambling to create one, a fresh opportunity landed in my lap.
  • The opportunity to do that film landed in my lap.
3 [with object] (land someone in) informal Cause someone to be in (a difficult or unwelcome situation): his exploits always landed him in trouble
More example sentences
  • This ambivalence toward their own goals in life can land them in difficult situations.
  • That lands you in a really difficult scientific problem.
  • It is less about the theatre production and more about the actors, their history and how it landed them in this current situation.
bring, lead to, drive to, cause to be in
3.1 (land someone with) Inflict (an unwelcome task or a difficult situation) on someone: the mistake landed the company with a massive bill
More example sentences
  • Good Friday became bad Friday for one group of Chessington residents when they were landed with £320 in parking fines.
  • Smith has been landed with ‘extortionate’ water bills - because travellers are taking water from his supply.
  • His tip-off to police landed Bailey with a five-year jail sentence when he appeared at York Crown Court.
4 [with object] informal Inflict (a blow) on someone: I won the fight without landing a single punch [with two objects]: I landed him one
More example sentences
  • In round 1, Donis landed a hard right hook that was his most significant punch of the round.
  • It is possible that when the fight statistics are scrutinised that Arias, the Brazilian heavyweight champion, will have a tally of punches landed in single figures.
  • Raymond, enraged at being laughed at, charged forward and tried landing the first strike.
inflict, deal, deliver, administer, dispense, score, mete out



how the land lies

What the state of affairs is: let’s keep it to ourselves until we see how the land lies
More example sentences
  • Just to see how the land lies, I approached Dave Linley, who has been given the job of looking after the spare tickets.
  • Your response counts, because it tells them, and the BBC how the land lies.
  • Let's see how the land lies after Grafton Street opens, OK?

in the land of the living

humorous Alive or awake.
Example sentences
  • Am now back in the land of the living, only to be faced with ten bazillion emails and two letters from the House of Commons (that'll be my MP then).
  • In that instance, as it is now, it was very comforting to know that I was wrong and he had been slyly enjoying his years in the land of the living.
  • Well, I'm back in the land of the living again with an internet connection!

the land of Nod

humorous A state of sleep.
Punningly, with biblical allusion to the place name Nod (Gen. 4:16)
Example sentences
  • I fought off the sleep interruption and went back to the land of Nod.
  • I want to stay where it is safe, lost in the sleepy, dreamy land of Nod.
  • May dreams of the fearless left-winger escort you to the land of Nod.

land on one's feet

Have good luck or success, especially after risk or trial: after some ups and downs, he has finally landed on his feet
More example sentences
  • But no, miss high and mighty, you've landed on your feet and you don't need your old dad any more, that's for sure.
  • Ranieri has landed on his feet, loved and lauded in two cities.
  • For starters he left me after I'd supported him for six months of him being unemployed, just as I lost my job and he landed on his feet.

live off the land

Live on whatever food one can obtain by hunting, gathering, or subsistence farming.
Example sentences
  • Often relocated to disadvantaged areas, the Ojibwa faced poverty and bare subsistence through living off the land and/or farming.
  • The soldiers learn how to catch food and live off the land.
  • Some 90 percent of the population live off the land, mostly as subsistence farmers.

Phrasal verbs

land up

Reach a place or situation; end up: I landed up in prison


Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch land and German Land.

  • Celtic words such as Irish lann ‘enclosure’ and Welsh llan ‘enclosure, church’ are related to land, as well as the closer Dutch land and German Land. In the land of the living is now a jokey way of saying that someone is alive or awake. The expression is biblical, occurring for example in the Book of Job: ‘Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.’ The land of Nod is also biblical, first used for the state of sleep by Jonathan Swift, who based it on the place name Nod in Genesis: ‘And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden’. Landscape (late 16th century) was first used as a term for a picture of natural scenery: it comes from Middle Dutch lantscap, from land ‘land’ and -scap (the equivalent of the English suffix -ship).

Words that rhyme with land

and, band, bland, brand, expand, firsthand, gland, grand, hand, manned, misunderstand, offhand, rand, righthand, Samarkand, sand, stand, strand, thirdhand, underhand, undermanned, understand, unplanned, untanned, withstand

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: land

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There are 2 main definitions of land in English:

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Land 2

Pronunciation: /länt/ /länd/

noun (plural Länder /ˈlendər/ //)

(In Germany or Austria) a state.
Example sentences
  • A second school highlights the distinctive role of regional governments in federal systems, however designated - states, provinces, republics, cantons, Länder.
  • The German Länder have, as it were, an organic claim to authority, and have represented their local communities for much longer.
  • Kohl insisted that these extensions would undermine the position of the German Länder.


German, literally 'land'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Land

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