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land mine

noun, Military
1.
an explosive charge concealed just under the surface of the ground or of a roadway, designed to be detonated by pressure, proximity of a vehicle or person, etc.
2.
aerial mine (def 2).
Origin
1885-1890
1885-90
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for land mine
  • Two months into his tour, he stepped on a land mine.
  • Then the spot is tested for certain high levels of nitrogen that indicate a land mine is present.
British Dictionary definitions for land mine

land mine

noun
1.
(military) an explosive charge placed in the ground, usually detonated by stepping or driving on it
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
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Encyclopedia Article for land mine

U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher has called them "weapons of mass destruction in slow motion"--the 110 million land mines buried in 68 countries stretching from Cambodia to Costa Rica. The United Nations has estimated that they kill or maim roughly 20,000 people each year. Most of the casualties are innocent civilians, many of them children, because practically all of the mines in place today have no self-destruction or neutralization features. They remain deadly hazards long after a conflict has ended or the lines of confrontation have moved. With some 23 million land mines buried in its sands, Egypt has more unexploded mines than any other country. Many of these date from World War II, and the others are from the 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars. The most densely mined country is Bosnia and Herzegovina, where there are an average of 152 mines per square mile. As international publicity and abhorrence to these indiscriminate killers have grown, so have the public and private efforts to remove the mines already planted and to ban or at least severely restrict their use in the future.

Learn more about land mine with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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