Definitions

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

  • noun Land under dispute by two opposing parties, especially the field of battle between the lines of two opposing entrenched armies.
  • noun An area of uncertainty or ambiguity.
  • noun An unclaimed or unowned piece of land.

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

  • noun military The ground between trenches where a soldier from either side would be easily targeted.
  • noun A place where no one can or should be.
  • noun tennis The area between the backcourt and the space close to the net, from which it is difficult to return the ball.
  • noun politics, geography Territory, often disputed, that cannot be inhabited because of fear of conflict, especially:
  • noun politics, geography Tracts of uninhabited territory close to the Iron Curtain.
  • noun politics, geography The stretch of land between the border posts of two contiguous sovereign states, sometimes separated by great distance.
  • noun politics, geography Land not claimed by any recognized sovereign state; terra nullius.

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

  • noun an unoccupied area between the front lines of opposing armies
  • noun land that is unowned and uninhabited (and usually undesirable)
  • noun the ambiguous region between two categories or states or conditions (usually containing some features of both)

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

A dispatch printed in the Times newspaper by Colonel E. Swinton writing as "Eyewitness"

Examples

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