Meaning of EARTH in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ ɜ:(r)θ ]

Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English.


Earth or the Earth is the planet on which we live. People usually say Earth when they are referring to the planet as part of the universe, and the Earth when they are talking about the planet as the place where we live.

The space shuttle Atlantis returned safely to earth today.

...a fault in the Earth’s crust.

N-PROPER : oft the N


The earth is the land surface on which we live and move about.

The earth shook and the walls of neighbouring houses fell around them.

= ground

N-SING : the N


Earth is the substance on the land surface of the earth, for example clay or sand, in which plants grow.

The road winds for miles through parched earth, scrub and cactus...

= soil



The earth in an electric plug or piece of electrical equipment is the wire through which electricity can pass into the ground, which makes the equipment safe if something goes wrong with it. ( BRIT; in AM, use ground )

The earth wire was not connected.


• earthed

Light fittings with metal parts should always be earthed.

ADJ : usu v-link ADJ


see also down-to-earth


On earth is used for emphasis in questions that begin with words such as ‘how’, ‘why’, ‘what’, or ‘where’. It is often used to suggest that there is no obvious or easy answer to the question being asked.

How on earth did that happen?...

What on earth had Luke done?...

PHRASE : quest PHR [ emphasis ]


On earth is used for emphasis after some negative noun groups, for example ‘no reason’.

There was no reason on earth why she couldn’t have moved in with us...

There is no feeling on earth like winning for the first time.

PHRASE : with neg , n PHR [ emphasis ]


On earth is used for emphasis after a noun group that contains a superlative adjective.

He wanted to be the fastest man on earth.

= in the world

PHRASE : adj-superl n PHR [ emphasis ]


If you come down to earth or back to earth , you have to face the reality of everyday life after a period of great excitement.

When he came down to earth after his win he admitted: ‘It was an amazing feeling’...

PHRASE : PHR after v


If you say that something cost the earth or that you paid the earth for it, you are emphasizing that it cost a very large amount of money. ( INFORMAL )

It must have cost the earth.

PHRASE : V inflects [ emphasis ]


hell on earth: see hell

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.