On earth
Earth Earth ([~e]rth), n. [AS. eor[eth]e; akin to OS. ertha, OFries. irthe, D. aarde, OHG. erda, G. erde, Icel. j["o]r[eth], Sw. & Dan. jord, Goth. a[=i]r[thorn]a, 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. [1913 Webster]

That law preserves the earth a sphere And guides the planets in their course. --S. Rogers. [1913 Webster]

In heaven, or earth, or under earth, in hell. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. The solid materials which make up the globe, in distinction from the air or water; the dry land. [1913 Webster]

God called the dry land earth. --Gen. i. 10. [1913 Webster]

He is pure air and fire, and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Give him a little earth for charity. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. A part of this globe; a region; a country; land. [1913 Webster]

Would I had never trod this English earth. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

5. Worldly things, as opposed to spiritual things; the pursuits, interests, and allurements of this life. [1913 Webster]

Our weary souls by earth beguiled. --Keble. [1913 Webster]

6. The people on the globe. [1913 Webster]

The whole earth was of one language. --Gen. xi. 1. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

8. A hole in the ground, where an animal hides himself; as, the earth of a fox. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

They [ferrets] course the poor conies out of their earths. --Holland. [1913 Webster]

9. (Elec.) The connection of any part an electric conductor with the ground; specif., the connection of a telegraph line with the ground through a fault or otherwise.

Note: When the resistance of the earth connection is low it is termed a good earth. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

Note: 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. [1913 Webster]

{Adamic earth}, {Bitter earth}, {Bog earth}, {Chian earth}, etc. See under {Adamic}, {Bitter}, etc.

{Alkaline earths}. See under {Alkaline}.

{Earth apple}. (Bot.) (a) A potato. (b) A cucumber.

{Earth auger}, a form of auger for boring into the ground; -- called also {earth borer}.

{Earth bath}, a bath taken by immersing the naked body in earth for healing purposes.

{Earth battery} (Physics), a voltaic battery the elements of which are buried in the earth to be acted on by its moisture.

{Earth chestnut}, the pignut.

{Earth closet}, a privy or commode provided with dry earth or a similar substance for covering and deodorizing the f[ae]cal discharges.

{Earth dog} (Zo["o]l.), a dog that will dig in the earth, or enter holes of foxes, etc.

{Earth hog}, {Earth pig} (Zo["o]l.), the aard-vark.

{Earth hunger}, an intense desire to own land, or, in the case of nations, to extend their domain.

{Earth light} (Astron.), the light reflected by the earth, as upon the moon, and corresponding to moonlight; -- called also {earth shine}. --Sir J. Herschel.

{Earth metal}. See 1st {Earth}, 7. (Chem.)

{Earth oil}, petroleum.

{Earth pillars} or {Earth pyramids} (Geol.), high pillars or pyramids of earth, sometimes capped with a single stone, found in Switzerland. --Lyell.

{Earth pitch} (Min.), mineral tar, a kind of asphaltum.

{Earth quadrant}, a fourth of the earth's circumference.

{Earth table} (Arch.), the lowest course of stones visible in a building; the ground table.

{On earth}, an intensive expression, oftenest used in questions and exclamations; as, What on earth shall I do? Nothing on earth will satisfy him. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • on earth — ► on earth used for emphasis: what on earth are you doing? Main Entry: ↑earth …   English terms dictionary

  • on earth — See: IN THE WORLD …   Dictionary of American idioms

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  • on earth — 1) used for emphasizing that someone or something is the best, worst, biggest etc in the world The Great Wall is the largest man made structure on earth. 2) nothing/nowhere etc on earth used for adding emphasis to negative statements Nothing on… …   English dictionary

  • on earth — in any conditions. What on earth makes you say that? Why on earth would she ask you to join them? How on earth did you survive the heat? Who on earth would want to collect rocks? Where on earth could Casey have learned such behavior? Usage notes …   New idioms dictionary

  • on\ earth — • in the world • on earth adv. phr. informal Of all possible things; ever. Usually used for emphasis after words that ask questions, as who , why , what , etc. Where in the world did you find that necktie? The boys wondered how on earth the mouse …   Словарь американских идиом

  • on earth — used for emphasis: what on earth are you doing? → earth …   English new terms dictionary

  • on earth — phrasal used as an intensive < to find out what on earth he was up to Michael Holroyd > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • on earth — adverb Expletive used for emphasis after an interrogative word. Why on earth did that comet come by so soon? Syn: in Gods name, in hell, in the hell, in the world, the Devil, the dickens, the heck, the hell …   Wiktionary

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