from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The land surface of the world.
  • noun The softer, friable part of land; soil, especially productive soil.
  • noun The third planet from the sun, having a sidereal period of revolution about the sun of 365.26 days at a mean distance of approximately 149.6 million kilometers (92.96 million miles), a sidereal rotation period of 23 hours 56.07 minutes, an average radius of 6,378.1 kilometers (3,963 miles), and a mass of approximately 5.9736 × 1024 kilograms (1.3169 × 1025 pounds).
  • noun The realm of mortal existence; the temporal world.
  • noun The human inhabitants of the world.
  • noun Worldly affairs and pursuits.
  • noun Everyday life; reality.
  • noun The substance of the human body; clay.
  • noun The lair of a burrowing animal.
  • noun Chiefly British The ground of an electrical circuit.
  • noun Chemistry Any of several metallic oxides, such as alumina or zirconia, that are difficult to reduce and were formerly regarded as elements.
  • intransitive verb To cover or heap (plants) with soil for protection.
  • intransitive verb To chase (an animal) into an underground hiding place.
  • intransitive verb To burrow or hide in the ground. Used of a hunted animal.
  • idiom (on earth) Among all the possibilities.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of plowing; a plowing.
  • noun A day's plowing.
  • To hide in or as in the earth.
  • To put underground; bury; inter.
  • To cover with earth or mold; choke with earth.
  • In electricity, to put to earth; place in connection with the earth.
  • To retire underground; burrow, as a hunted animal.
  • noun The terraqueous globe which we inhabit.
  • noun One expression only in the Old Testament gives us the word earth in its astronomical meaning,—that in the twenty-sixth chapter of Job:—
  • noun The solid matter of the globe, in distinction from water and air; the materials composing the solid parts of the globe; hence, the firm land of the earth's surface; the ground: as, he fell to the earth.
  • noun The loose material of the earth's surface; the disintegrated particles of solid matter, in distinction from rock; more particularly, the combinations of particles constituting soil, mold, or dust, as opposed to unmixed sand or clay.
  • noun The inhabitants of the globe; the world.
  • noun Dirt; hence, something low or mean.
  • noun The hole in which a fox or other burrowing animal hides itself.
  • noun In chem., a name formerly given to certain inodorous, dry, and uninflammable substances which are metallic oxids, but were formerly regarded as elementary bodies.
  • noun In electricity: The union of any point of a telegraph-line, submarine cable, or any system of conductors charged with or conveying electricity with the ground.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To burrow.
  • transitive verb To hide, or cause to hide, in the earth; to chase into a burrow or den.
  • transitive verb To cover with earth or mold; to inter; to bury; -- sometimes with up.
  • noun obsolete A plowing.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The solid materials which make up the globe, in distinction from the air or water; the dry land.
  • noun 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
  • noun A part of this globe; a region; a country; land.
  • noun Worldly things, as opposed to spiritual things; the pursuits, interests, and allurements of this life.
  • noun The people on the globe.
  • noun Any earthy-looking metallic oxide, as alumina, glucina, zirconia, yttria, and thoria.
  • noun A similar oxide, having a slight alkaline reaction, as lime, magnesia, strontia, baryta.
  • noun A hole in the ground, where an animal hides himself.
  • noun (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.
  • noun etc. See under Adamic, Bitter, etc.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English erthe, from Old English eorthe; see er- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English erthe, from Old English eorþe ("earth, ground, soil, dry land"), from Proto-Germanic *erþō (“earth, ground, soil”) (compare West Frisian ierde, Low German Er(de)/Ir(de), Dutch aarde, German Erde, Danish jord), related to *erwōn 'earth' (compare Old English ēar, Old High German ero, Old Norse jǫrfi 'gravel'), from Proto-Indo-European *er- (compare Old Irish úr 'earth', Tocharian B yare 'gravel', Ancient Greek éras 'earth', éraze 'on the ground', Albanian varr ("tomb, grave"), Old Armenian երկիր (erkir, "earth"), երկին (erkin, "heaven, sky")).


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  • The eleventh verse should read, therefore, as follows: "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit after his kind, _whose germinal principle of life, each in itself after its kind, is upon the earth_"

    Life: Its True Genesis R. W. Wright

  • Very strangely to the ears of the bystanders sounded the words of the Bible, accompanying the handful of earth as it was cast upon Púshkin -- "_earth thou art! _"

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 57, No. 357, June, 1845 Various

  • '_And God said, let us make man in our image after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and the fowl of the air and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth_.'

    The Pastor's Son William W. Walter

  • There ought to be, therefore, a greater escape of electricity from the clouds upwards than downwards; and, if space be void, or only filled with an extremely attenuated matter, the electricity of the earth, considered as an elastic fluid without ponderosity, (and no law of condensation from the law of gravity in harmony with its other attributes, will allow us to consider it otherwise,) _would long since have left the earth_.

    Outlines of a Mechanical Theory of Storms Containing the True Law of Lunar Influence T. Bassnett

  • Now the swing is in this wise: There is a chasm which is the vastest of them all, and pierces right through the whole earth; this is that which Homer describes in the words—“Far off, where is the inmost depth beneath the earth”; and which he in other places, and many other poets, have called Tartarus.

    Phædo. Paras. 600-624 Plato 1909

  • When the poles were banked up with earth the house was called an _earth lodge_.

    The Trail Book Mary Hunter Austin 1901

  • Wherefore, _since the godly man has ceased_ [117] from the earth, it seems to me that I do not employ myself to no purpose when I recall to our midst, from among those _who were redeemed from the earth_, [118]

    St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh of Clairvaux Bernard 1899

  • My love I can _compare_ with _nought_ on earth -- is like _nought on earth_ we ever read but Dean Swift's song of similes.

    Famous Reviews R. Brimley Johnson 1899

  • Smaller yet it grew, till it was only the size of a large fox's earth -- it was _earth_ now, mind you; the rock had ceased.

    King Solomon's Mines Henry Rider Haggard 1890

  • But, a final objection is raised, as on this view of the matter the elements -- earth, water and fire -- which are eaten and drunk, are already tripartite, each of them containing portions of all, and thus are of a threefold nature, how can they be designated each of them by a simple term -- _earth_, _water_, _fire_?

    The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja — Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48 George Thibaut 1881


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  • A group of foxes

    November 16, 2007

  • The Earth weighs around 6,588,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons.

    May 7, 2008

  • How much does the scale that they put it on weigh?

    May 7, 2008

  • Earth is the only planet not named after a God.

    May 7, 2008

  • What about Mars? Named after a chocolate bar. And pluto, named after a dog.

    May 10, 2008

  • And Uranus, named after

    May 10, 2008

  • everything else

    May 10, 2008

  • including a Wordie joke

    May 10, 2008

  • ...a Finnish recruitment company.

    May 10, 2008

  • It doesn't matter how much it weighs, chained_bearth. They take that into account in the final calculation.

    May 10, 2008

  • Very good, yarb. I suppose you're about to tell them where they can stick their jobs.

    May 10, 2008

  • Actually, whichbe, I'm pretty sure weight is relative. Strictly speaking the earth may have a mass of 6,588,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons, but since it is in orbit around the sun, it is weightless; it weighs nothing.

    May 10, 2008

  • I am not a Germanicist, but my guess is that "earth" probably was named after the deity Earth (in Old Norse, Jörð), whom today we still remember in countless ways as Mother Earth, though I am not sure "named after" is the right verb when one is speaking of the manifestation of a divinity. The planet Mars was not "named after" Mars, the light it reflected from the sun was identified wih the god Mars. Of the traditional nine planets of the Solar System, only the three discovered in modern times – Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto (recently demoted) – were "named after" gods; the others, including Earth, were identified with gods.

    May 10, 2008

  • Dateline: Valhalla. Twilight.

    Rumblings continue to emanate tonight, as the anger of the Gods continues to mount. Ever since the rash statement on Wotans Day by the earthling, whichbe, palace sources report that the Gods are furious. In particular, Erda, Wotan's beautiful and wise consort, is said to be beside herself. Signs of the imminent eruption of her fury have been detected by seismologists all along the ring of fire, and air traffic controllers throughout the area have reported multiple sightings by pilots of angry, sword-wielding, Wagner-shrieking blonde Scandinavian women astride winged steeds of apparent equine origin.

    It is unclear at this point whether global catastrophe can be avoided. U.N. leaders are actively seeking the hapless whichbe, who is said to be in hiding, with the purpose of securing the firstborn child for a sacrifice of propitiation. Ragnarok-watchers around the globe continue in a state of high alert.

    May 10, 2008

  • I'd hate the end of the world to be accompanied by Ride of the Valkyries. That would ruin my day.

    May 10, 2008

  • If it means the word fimbulwinter enters popular discourse, I'm all for it.

    May 10, 2008

  • You folks don't know this tellurian's chthonophagia.

    May 12, 2008

  • When I have thought of the welfare of the earth, the problems of its health and preservation, the care of its life, I have had this place before me ... Wendell Berry "A Native Hill"

    July 19, 2008

  • How to Destroy the Earth

    September 13, 2008