Definition of no man's land in US English:

no man's land

noun

  • 1Disputed ground between the front lines or trenches of two opposing armies.

    ‘enemy soldiers facing you across no man's land’
    • ‘Before the end of the war, however, the ineffectiveness of cavalry units in modern warfare had been realised and he was given a new, even more dangerous role - as a scout in no-man's-land.’
    • ‘On 15 September 1916, at the Battle of the Somme, after horrific infantry losses, forty-nine Mark I tanks were sent in to support infantry attacks across no-man's-land.’
    • ‘At 5am on Christmas Day, British and German troops walk across no-man's-land, talking and exchanging souvenirs.’
    • ‘A shell erupted overhead, spraying no-man's-land with color and light, and Grundling saw what the sound was.’
    • ‘He was awarded the Military Cross after fearlessly walking into no-man's-land between the opposing troops to comfort wounded and dying soldiers.’
    • ‘As a result, many emerging companies found themselves in a kind of no-man's-land when it came to financing their future growth.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the enemies on no-man's-land shake hands again and shut their respective gates with ferocious movements.’
    • ‘And the no-man's-land between the two parties is where presidential contests are won and lost.’
    • ‘To the north, Americans and Kurdish fighters took up positions in the no-man's-land south of the Kurdish autonomous region.’
    • ‘For about 350 of those kilometers inside Iraq, it's complete no-man's-land.’
    • ‘It thus appears to lie in what Stankov has called the no-man's-land between personality and intelligence.’
    • ‘Muhammad and Tahseen had helped me explore the back roads and smugglers' routes in the no-man's-land surrounding government-controlled Kirkuk.’
    • ‘As a result of all this, there is really no word left to define that no-man's-land between youth and age.’
    • ‘The most critical hour of your workday is 3 o'clock, that nutritional no-man's-land between lunch and dinner when your head starts to nod and your eyelids start clamping to your eyes.’
    • ‘Now, everything seems transitional - we're in a sort of no-man's-land between the object and the information.’
    1. 1.1 An indeterminate or undefined place or state.
      ‘the no man's land between the two parties is where presidential contests are won and lost’
      ‘an unmapped no man's land between the traditional command economy and the market’
      • ‘These men ended up in a bureaucratic no man's land, coming under neither the regulations regarding prisoners nor those about soldiers.’
      • ‘We are left in a moral no man's land, unable to determine what's sacred.’
      • ‘Few bands have traversed the no man's land between art and commerce quite like The Dears.’
      • ‘Part surreal satire on human domesticity, part gentle study of male loneliness, Bent Hamer's engaging little movie occupies a strange no man's land between little-known history and pure Pythonesque looniness.’
      • ‘Devoted to exploring the experience of exile, Expulsion strives to inhabit "the no man's land between dreaming and waking life, that seemingly eternal moment where regret, nostalgia and desire meet."’
      • ‘His request was rejected, and he found himself in a bizarre no man's land: exiled from home and barred from entering France.’
      • ‘Located somewhere in the no man's land between popular and so-called serious music, the digital sound improvisations of Errorsmith are performed on self-built digital instruments.’
      • ‘Right now, we are in no man's land, politically.’
      • ‘The band's minimalist attitude occasionally strands them in an electro no man's land.’
      • ‘The BMA yesterday called on the British Government to put more money into services which specifically target adolescents, which it said were stuck in a no man's land between child and adult health services.’
      • ‘He is a citizen without a country, trapped in a no man's land of fast food outlets and endless shopping opportunities.’
      • ‘The period between Christmas and New Year is a strange form of no man's land where we muse and watch the rain fall.’
      • ‘The Tories risked being caught in political no man's land.’
      • ‘Remix collections rarely satisfy fully, usually falling into a no man's land which fans of the original artists have little interest in exploring.’
      • ‘As the UK's fifth biggest bank, it appears to be caught in no man's land - not small enough to be a niche banker but not quite big enough to compete with the market leaders on an equal footing either.’
      • ‘After languishing in an anti-fashion no man's land for a good 10 years, the cocktail enjoyed a renaissance in the early Nineties.’
      • ‘Pet cloning exists in a regulatory no man's land.’
      oblivion, void, non-existence, neither heaven nor hell
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    2. 1.2 Land or area that is unowned, uninhabited, or undesirable.
      • ‘Potsdamer Platz, once a no-man's-land across which concrete barriers and barbed wire stretched, now has a McDonald's and Starbucks.’
      • ‘In the late 1990s, for instance, developer Larry Silverstein built an apartment tower on 42nd Street, near the Lincoln Tunnel - previously a residential no-man's-land.’
      • ‘This is the generally scummy and rat-infested old mall in the terrifyingly sprawling no-man's-land of Tuscaloosa.’
      • ‘The perimeter around the airport used to be a no-man's-land; anyone on the property was immediately suspicious.’
      • ‘Beyond the checkpost at Thal, a tiny, fly-blown, windblown nowhere of a village on the edge of Pakistan's tribal areas, is a no-man's-land where the only law is that of the gun and the tribe.’
      • ‘And I don't want the world to become a barren no-man's-land run by roaches.’
      wasteland, neglected area, abandoned area, no-man's-land
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Origin

Middle English: originally the name of a plot of ground lying outside the north wall of the city of London, the site of a place of execution.

Pronunciation

no man's land

/ˈnō ˌmanz ˌland/