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.


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