1 (also Earth) the planet on which we live; the world:the diversity of life on earth the surface of the world as distinct from the sky or the sea:the pilot brought the plane gently back to earth the present abode of humankind, as distinct from heaven or hell: God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven 2 [mass noun] the substance of the land surface; soil:a layer of earth [count noun] used in names of stable, dense, non-volatile inorganic substances, e.g. fuller’s earth: these crayons are made with a mixture of native earths plus softeners such as China clay literary the substance of the human body: we now commit his body to the ground: earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust 3 [mass noun] British electrical connection to the ground, regarded as having zero electrical potential:ensure metal fittings are electrically bonded to earth 4the underground lair of a badger or fox.
5one of the four elements in ancient and medieval philosophy and in astrology (considered essential to the nature of the signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn): [as modifier]:an earth sign 1British connect (an electrical device) with the ground:the front metal panels must be soundly earthed 2 Hunting drive (a fox) to its underground lair. [no object] (of a fox) run to its underground lair.
(earth something up
) cover the root and lower stem of a plant with heaped-up earth: the stems can be earthed up when the plant is about one foot high