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Edwin land

[land] /lænd/

Edwin Herbert, 1909–91, U.S. inventor and businessman: created the Polaroid camera.
the solid part of the surface of the earth as distinct from seas, lakes, etc related adjective terrestrial

rural or agricultural areas as contrasted with urban ones
farming as an occupation or way of life


a realm, sphere, or domain
(economics) the factor of production consisting of all natural resources
the unindented part of a grooved surface, esp one of the ridges inside a rifle bore
how the land lies, the prevailing conditions or state of affairs
to transfer (something) or go from a ship or boat to the shore: land the cargo
(intransitive) to come to or touch shore
to come down or bring (something) down to earth after a flight or jump
to come or bring to some point, condition, or state
(transitive) (angling) to retrieve (a hooked fish) from the water
(transitive) (informal) to win or obtain: to land a job
(transitive) (informal) to deliver (a blow)
Edwin Herbert. 1909–91, US inventor of the Polaroid Land camera
noun (pl) Länder (ˈlɛndər)


Old English land, lond, “ground, soil,” also “definite portion of the earth’s surface, home region of a person or a people, territory marked by political boundaries,” from Proto-Germanic *landom (cf. Old Norse, Old Frisian Dutch, German, Gothic land), from PIE *lendh- “land, heath” (cf. Old Irish land, Middle Welsh llan “an open space,” Welsh llan “enclosure, church,” Breton lann “heath,” source of French lande; Old Church Slavonic ledina “waste land, heath,” Czech lada “fallow land”).

Etymological evidence and Gothic use indicates the original sense was “a definite portion of the earth’s surface owned by an individual or home of a nation.” Meaning early extended to “solid surface of the earth,” which had been the sense of the root of Modern English earth. Original sense of land in English is now mostly found under country. To take the lay of the land is a nautical expression. In the American English exclamation land’s sakes (1846) land is a euphemism for Lord.

“to bring to land,” early 13c., from land (n.). Originally of ships; of fish, in the angling sense, from 1610s; hence figurative sense of “to obtain” (a job, etc.), first recorded 1854. Of aircraft, attested from 1916. Related: Landed; landing.

“to make contact, to hit home” (of a blow, etc.), by 1881, perhaps altered from lend in a playful sense, or else an extension of land (v.1).


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