I. earth 1 S2 W2 /ɜːθ $ ɜːrθ/ BrE AmE noun
[ Word Family: noun : ↑ earth , ↑ earthling , ↑ earthiness ; adjective : ↑ earthy , ↑ earthly ≠ ↑ unearthly , ↑ earthen ; verb : ↑ unearth ; adverb : earthward(s)]
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: eorthe ]
1 . WORLD ( also Earth ) [singular, uncountable] the ↑ planet that we live on:
the planet Earth
The earth revolves around the sun.
the earth’s surface/atmosphere/crust etc
71% of the earth’s surface is sea.
the origin of life on Earth
2 . SOIL [uncountable] the substance that plants grow in SYN soil
soft/bare/damp etc earth
footprints in the wet earth
a lump of earth
3 . LAND [uncountable] the hard surface of the world, as opposed to the sea or air SYN ground :
The earth shook.
They watched the kite fall back to earth.
4 . what/why/how etc on earth ...? spoken used to ask a question when you are very surprised or angry:
What on earth did you do that for?
5 . cost/pay/charge the earth informal to cost etc a very large amount of money:
It must have cost the earth!
6 . the biggest/tallest/most expensive etc ... on earth the biggest etc example of something that exists:
the most powerful man on earth
7 . RELIGION [uncountable] used in religion to refer to the time when people are alive as opposed to being in ↑ heaven or ↑ hell :
Jesus’ time on earth
⇨ move heaven and earth at ↑ heaven (9), ⇨ hell on earth at ↑ hell 1 (2)
8 . come back/down to earth (with a bump) to stop behaving or living in a way that is not practical:
She soon brought him back down to earth.
9 . no ... /nothing on earth used to emphasize that you mean nothing at all:
Nothing on earth would have persuaded me to go.
There’s no reason on earth why you should tell him.
10 . look/feel etc like nothing on earth British English to look or feel very strange:
The next morning I felt like nothing on earth.
11 . ELECTRICITY [countable usually singular] British English a wire that makes a piece of electrical equipment safe by connecting it with the ground SYN ground American English
12 . ANIMAL’S HOME [countable] the hole where a wild animal such as a ↑ fox lives ⇨ den , lair
13 . go to earth British English to hide in order to escape from someone who is chasing you SYN go to ground
14 . run somebody/something to earth British English to find someone, especially by looking in many places
⇨ ↑ down-to-earth , ⇨ promise somebody the moon/the earth at ↑ promise 1 (3), ⇨ the salt of the earth at ↑ salt 1 (2)
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)
▪ the Earth’s surface
Over seventy percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by ocean.
▪ the Earth’s crust
Volcanoes and earthquakes occur where there is movement in the Earth’s crust.
▪ the Earth’s core (=central part)
The Earth’s inner core is almost entirely composed of iron.
▪ the Earth’s mantle (=parts around the central core)
the incredibly high temperatures and pressures deep within Earth’s mantle
▪ the Earth’s atmosphere
The Earth’s atmosphere blocks off all radiation from space other than light and radio waves.
▪ the Earth’s gravity
the continual pull of the Earth’s gravity on the Moon.
▪ the Earth’s orbit
The rocket left the Earth's orbit and set off to Mars.
▪ the Earth’s rotation
Has the Earth’s rotation always been the same?
▪ the Earth’s axis
Over thousands of years, the direction of Earth’s axis slowly changes.
▪ the Earth’s climate
The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has an influence on the Earth’s climate.
The Earth orbits the Sun once a year, and the Moon orbits the Earth approximately every 27 days.
Because of the direction in which the Earth revolves, the sun always rises in the east and sets in the west.
▪ go round/around
Why does the Earth goes around the Sun?
▪ Planet Earth
the origin of life on Planet Earth
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
The wheels got stuck in the soft earth.
It hadn’t rained for weeks and the earth was hard.
▪ bare (=not covered by trees or grass)
There were no flowers or grass, just bare earth.
This earth is not fertile enough to produce crops.
The poppy seeds were planted in the freshly-dug earth.
I slipped on the damp earth and fell over.
▪ a mound of earth (=a pile of earth that looks like a small hill)
A mound of earth lay beside the grave.
▪ a clod/clump of earth (=a lump of earth)
The horse’s hooves kicked up great clods of earth.
• • •
▪ Earth/the Earth the planet we live on - used especially when talking about this in relation to other planets and to space. Also used when talking about being on the ground as opposed to being in the sky:
The Earth moves around the sun.
The space shuttle returned to Earth safely.
It’s the highest mountain on Earth.
▪ the world the planet we live on – used when talking about all the people, countries, places etc on it:
He’s one of the richest men in the world.
Sir Francis Drake was the first Englishman to sail around the world.
▪ land the solid dry part of the Earth’s surface:
After weeks at sea, the sailors saw land.
▪ the globe the world – used especially when you want to emphasize that something happens in or comes from every part of the world:
a meeting of scientists from around the globe
There has been an increase in skin cancer across the globe.
The network is accessible from any point on the globe.
II. earth 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]
British English to make electrical equipment safe by connecting it to the ground with a wire SYN ground American English :
Make sure that the machine is properly earthed.