Definitions

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

  • n. The land directly adjacent to and inland from a coast.
  • n. A region remote from urban areas; backcountry.
  • n. A region situated beyond metropolitan centers of culture.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The land immediately next to, and inland from, a coast.
  • n. The rural territory surrounding an urban area, especially a port.
  • n. A remote or undeveloped area, a backwater.
  • n. Anything vague or ill-defined, especially one that is ill understood.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a remote and undeveloped area; originally, the land or region lying behind the coast district. The term is used esp. with reference to the so-called doctrine of the hinterland, sometimes advanced, that occupation of the coast supports a claim to an exclusive right to occupy, from time to time, the territory lying inland of the coast.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Territory that lies back of and is tributary to a coast region or port.

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

  • n. a remote and undeveloped area

Etymologies

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

German : hinter, behind (from Middle High German, from Old High German hintar; see ko- in Indo-European roots) + Land, land (from Middle High German lant, from Old High German; see lendh- in Indo-European roots).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowing from German Hinterland, from hinter (“behind”) +‎ Land (“land”), cognate to English hind ("back, rear") + land. First used in English in 1888 by George Chisholm in his work Handbook of Commercial Geography originally as hinderland, but current spelling (following German) became more popular. The term is characteristic of thalassocratic analysis of space (from the point of view of nation, such as 19th century Britain, with maritime supremacy).

Examples

  • Another tiresome grand tour of the Canadian hinterland is planned, including a homecoming visit to the universities.

    Opposition: time to recalibrate

  • "Tuscany!" my mom declared, at the cypress trees and red rooftops beyond, reminding me just how similar the French hinterland is to that of northern Italy.

    French Word-A-Day:

  • Fourth, Governor Palin has what the British Labour Party politician Denis Healy likes to call a "hinterland" - a life beyond politics.

    Alarming News

  • Interestingly, we had discovered also just prior to his "recent trip to Europe" that our "hinterland" - possessing Sen Obama happened to possess a surprising lack of geographical knowledge

    Expat Yank

  • Thus those who ventured into the hinterland were able to violate the rules of Kashruth, a code that sets up dietary rules, with a clear conscience, while remaining observant Jews.

    Jews in Mexico. a struggle for survival part 1

  • Attracting qualified doctors and nurses to the hinterland is a major challenge.

    THE MEDICAL NEWS

  • "hinterland" - the stuff you do when you're not on the job.

    FreakyTrigger

  • He has visited South America, Africa, Europe and spent considerable time in what we might describe as the hinterland of the North American Continent, including Labrador, Alaska and the Hudson Bay Country of the North.

    Canada Finds Her Voice

  • The "hinterland" that Mayo sold at original Tribune promotion prices to the newly incorporated Beachwood Borough, in December 1917, would later become the site of today's Jakes Branch County Park.

    Building Beachwood, Part Two « Beachwood Historical Alliance

  • The myopic view of New York State as some kind of hinterland to the City is so pervasive among New Yorkers (city) and it drives everybody else in the state right up a wall.

    Matthew Yglesias » How Low Can We Go

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