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no man's land

noun
1.
an area between opposing armies, over which no control has been established.
2.
an unowned or unclaimed tract of usually barren land.
3.
an indefinite or ambiguous area where guidelines and authority are not clear:
a no man's land between acceptance and rejection.
4.
(in tennis, handball, etc.) the area of a court in which a player is at a tactical disadvantage, as the area of a tennis court about midway between the net and the base line.
Origin of no man's land
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for no-man's-land

no-man's-land

noun
1.
land between boundaries, esp an unoccupied zone between opposing forces
2.
an unowned or unclaimed piece of land
3.
an ambiguous area of activity or thought
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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Word Origin and History for no-man's-land
n.

also no man's land, "terrain between front lines of entrenched armies," 1908, popularized in World War I; in use from at least early 14c. as Nonemanneslond, an unowned waste ground outside the north wall of London, site for executions. No man (Old English nanne mon) was an old way of saying "nobody."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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