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

  • noun plural Barren land characterized by roughly eroded ridges, peaks, and mesas.

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

  • Barren regions, especially in the western United States, where horizontal strata (Tertiary deposits) have been often eroded into fantastic forms, and much intersected by cañons, and where lack of wood, water, and forage increases the difficulty of traversing the country, whence the name, first given by the Canadian French, Mauvaises Terres (bad lands).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun geomorphology An arid terrain characterized by severe erosion of sedimentary rocks.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an eroded and barren region in southwestern South Dakota and northwestern Nebraska
  • noun an eroded and barren region in southwestern South Dakota and northwestern Nebraska
  • noun deeply eroded barren land


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

bad + lands


  • On the wall next to the door, instead of a nameplate, there was an ink and pen drawing, two inches by three inches, of a small piece of the U.S. map, with the word badlands written in the middle.

    The Dead House

  • Known as the badlands because of their barrenness, the small rolling hills around the ranch were composed of disintegrating sandy silts and clay shales.

    Portrait of An Artist

  • As I sit here in my luckily obtained front row seat, I am blown away by scenes of Vash's trademark shinanagens with the accompanying crew of Milly, Meryl and Nick Wolfwood in what is appropriately called a badlands rumble. Antenna

  • Humans cleared the land of its natural vegetation and the badlands are the result.


  • A little below Afghanistan lies Pakistan's tribal zones, the so-called badlands of Pakistan, a sovereign country that has just given the boot to Pervez Musharraf, a military strongman and president once considered friendly to US interests.

    Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes from a Blue State

  • Does that mean we simply have to allow terrorists to operate there, in kind of badlands, where they can plan, they can set up laboratories, they can experiment with chemical weapons and with biological weapons?

    October « 2008 « Niqnaq

  • The black-tailed prairie dogs that live in South Dakota's "badlands" are those under the greatest threat and controversy.


  • It was as recently as late June – two months ago – that we were writing on this blog that Al Amarah in the southern, British sector of Iraq had become the "badlands".

    The British are running

  • In fact, scientists are currently debating the high probability that the intense erosion process that formed the ecoregional "badlands" was provoked by the geologic instability of the region.

    Southeastern Iberian shrubs and woodlands

  • Here, we know that, when the attack occurred last August, al Amarah had acquired the reputation of the "badlands", and British troops were under constant, heavy attack.

    Archive 2007-05-01


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  • "Why, then, has the U.S. decided to destabilize a crucial ally? Within Pakistan, some analysts argue that this is a carefully coordinated move to weaken the Pakistani state yet further by creating a crisis that extends way beyond the badlands on the frontier with Afghanistan. Its ultimate aim, they claim, would be the extraction of the Pakistani military's nuclear fangs. If this were the case, it would imply that Washington was indeed determined to break up the Pakistani state, since the country would very simply not survive a disaster on that scale."

    - Tariq Ali, 'The American War Moves to Pakistan', 16 Sep 2008.

    September 17, 2008