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.

1630–40; waste + -land

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
wasteland (ˈweɪstˌlænd)
1.  a barren or desolate area of land, not or no longer used for cultivation or building
2.  a region, period in history, etc, that is considered spiritually, intellectually, or aesthetically barren or desolate: American television is a cultural wasteland

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Example sentences
Wasteland, you're not cleverly teaching me something about academia and
  graduate school.
Recklessly starving the world's fourth-largest lake to irrigate crops turned
  rich waters into a barren wasteland.
But to real estate developers, the canyons were empty wasteland, waiting to be
  turned into homes.
And they are not mining in a wasteland it is the watershed, it is gods country.
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