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[weyst-land] /ˈweɪstˌlænd/
land that is uncultivated or barren.
an area that is devastated, as by flood, storm, or war.
something, as a period of history, phase of existence, or locality, that is spiritually or intellectually barren.
Origin of wasteland
1630-40; waste + -land Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for wasteland
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nothing, for as far as the eye could see there was only wasteland.

    Dave Dawson at Casablanca Robert Sydney Bowen
  • Hours later he spotted the caravan in the immensity of sand and wasteland.

  • They walked for two hours, the Disan setting a cruel pace, before they reached a wasteland of jumbled rock.

    Planet of the Damned Harry Harrison
  • The Confederate force was already starting withdrawal, battery by battery, as the wasteland of the fire lighted them on their way.

    Ride Proud, Rebel! Andre Alice Norton
  • Victorious feudal lords induced farmers to come to their territory and to cultivate the wasteland.

British Dictionary definitions for wasteland


a barren or desolate area of land, not or no longer used for cultivation or building
a region, period in history, etc, that is considered spiritually, intellectually, or aesthetically barren or desolate: American television is a cultural wasteland
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 wasteland

1887, from waste (adj.) + land (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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