c.1600, "painting representing natural scenery," from Du. landschap, from M.Du. landscap "region," from land "land" + -scap "-ship." Originally introduced as a painters' term. O.E. had cognate landscipe. Meaning "tract of land with its distinguishing characteristics" is from 1886. The verb meaning "to lay out lawns, gardens, etc., plant trees for the sake of beautification" is first recorded 1927, from the noun.