Etymology
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wasteland (n.)

1825 as one word, from waste (adj.) + land (n.). Figurative sense is attested from 1868. Eliot's poem is from 1922.

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
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tundra (n.)
an Arctic steppe, 1841, from Russian tundra, from Lappish (Finno-Ugric) tundar, said to mean "elevated wasteland, high-topped hill," or "a marshy plain."
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heath (n.)
Old English hæð "untilled land, tract of wasteland," especially flat, shrubby, desolate land;" earlier "heather, plants and shrubs found on heaths," influenced by cognate Old Norse heiðr "heath, moor," both from Proto-Germanic *haithiz (source also of Old Saxon hetha, Old High German heida "heather," Dutch heide "heath," Gothic haiþi "field"), from PIE *kaito "forest, uncultivated land" (source also of Old Irish ciad, Welsh coed, Breton coet "wood, forest").
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desert (n.1)

c. 1200, "wasteland, wilderness, barren area," wooded or not, from Old French desert (12c.) "desert, wilderness, wasteland; destruction, ruin" and directly from Late Latin desertum (source of Italian diserto, Old Provençal dezert, Spanish desierto), literally "thing abandoned" (used in Vulgate to translate "wilderness"), noun use of neuter past participle of Latin deserere "forsake" (see desert (v.)).

Sense of "waterless, treeless region of considerable extent" was in Middle English and gradually became the main meaning. Classical Latin indicated this idea with deserta, plural of desertus. Commonly spelled desart in 18c., which is unetymological, but it avoids confusion with the two other senses of the word. 

Every important worker will report what life there is in him. It makes no odds into what seeming deserts the poet is born. Though all his neighbors pronounce it a Sahara, it will be a paradise to him; for the desert which we see is the result of the barrenness of our experience. [Thoreau, Journal, May 6, 1854]
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waste (n.)
c. 1200, "desolate regions," from Anglo-French and Old North French wast "waste, damage, destruction; wasteland, moor" (Old French gast), from Latin vastum, neuter of vastus "empty, desolate," from PIE *wasto-, extended suffixed form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out."

Replaced or merged with Old English westen, woesten "a desert, wilderness," from the Latin word. Meanings "consumption, depletion," also "useless expenditure" are from c. 1300; sense of "refuse matter" is attested from c. 1400. Waste basket first recorded 1850.
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jungle (n.)

1776, "dense growth of trees and other tangled vegetation," such as that of some regions  in India, from Hindi jangal "desert, forest, wasteland, uncultivated ground," from Sanskrit jangala-s "arid, sparsely grown with trees," a word of unknown origin.

Extended by 1849 to other places overgrown by vegetation in a wild, tangled mass. Figurative sense "wild, tangled mass" of anything is from 1850. Meaning "place notoriously lawless and violent" is first recorded 1906, from Upton Sinclair's novel. Meaning "hobo camp" is from 1908.

Asphalt jungle (1949) is from William R. Burnett's novel title, made into a film 1950 by John Huston; blackboard jungle (1954) is from Evan Hunter's novel title and 1955 movie. Jungle fever "remittent malignant fever prevalent in India and tropical regions" is from 1803. Jungle gym appears in advertisements from 1921, originally one word, made by Junglegym Inc., Chicago, U.S. Jungle bunny, derogatory for "black person," is attested by 1966.

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