no man's land

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See also: no-man's-land


Alternative forms[edit]


Originally from Middle English Nomanneslond. Revived with new senses in a dispatch printed in the Times newspaper by Colonel Ernest Dunlop Swinton writing as "Eyewitness".


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈnoʊˌmænzˌlænd/
  • Hyphenation: no man's land


no man's land

  1. (military) The ground between trenches where a soldier from either side would be easily targeted.
  2. (nautical) A space amidships used to keep blocks, ropes, etc.; a space on a ship belonging to no one in particular to care for.
  3. Part of a prison, hospital complex, etc. where people are not normally allowed to go.
  4. (figuratively) A place where no one can or should be.
    • 2006, March 25, Melissa Hoyos, “‘No man’s land’ has no fire protection”, Tri City Herald
      There’s a 137-square-mile chunk of Franklin County [] referred to as "no man’s land" because it isn’t protected by any of the county’s four fire districts.
    • 1867, T W Robertson, Caste:
      Now, George, if you’re going to consider this question from the point of view of poetry, you’re off to No Man’s Land, where I won’t follow you.
  5. (tennis) The area between the backcourt and the space close to the net, from which it is difficult to return the ball.
  6. (politics, geography) Territory, often disputed, that cannot be inhabited because of fear of conflict, especially:
    1. Tracts of uninhabited territory close to the Iron Curtain.
    2. The stretch of land between the border posts of two contiguous sovereign states, sometimes separated by great distance.
    3. Land not claimed by any recognized sovereign state; terra nullius.
  7. (medicine) The fibrous sheath of the flexor tendons of the hand, specifically in the zone from the distal palmar crease to the proximal interphalangeal joint.



See also[edit]