Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[urth-ling] /ˈɜrθ lɪŋ/
an inhabitant of earth; mortal.
1585-95; earth + -ling1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for earthling
  • Scientific earthling implies there are no solutions, then proposes geothermal energy.
  • It turns out that low-gravity conditions can do strange things to earthling cells, including making them more virulent.
  • Their electric rail guns will loft commercial payloads into space and enrich earthling entrepreneurs.
  • Since they're from another planet, they are able to mistake him for a baseball player, which no real earthling would do.
  • Some people will be repulsed, as was this earthling.
  • Could not agree with you more, scientific earthling.
  • In conclusion, what's your point on methane emissions for reservoirs, scientific earthling.
British Dictionary definitions for earthling


(esp in poetry or science fiction) an inhabitant of the earth; human being
Word Origin
C16: from earth + ling1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for earthling

Old English yrþling "plowman" (see earth + -ling); the sense of "inhabitant of the earth" is from 1590s. Earthman was originally (1860) "a demon who lives in the earth;" science fiction sense of "inhabitant of the planet Earth" first attested 1949 in writing of Robert Heinlein. Earlier in this sense was earthite (1825).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for earthling

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for earthling

Scrabble Words With Friends