no man's land

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no man's land

1. The area of unoccupied land that separates warring factions. Make sure not to go too far out into no man's land on this offensive.
2. A situation that is ambiguous due to uncertainty about how to proceed. This lawsuit is a bit of a no man's land—the Supreme Court may have to set a precedent.
3. An unowned, desolate and/or barren piece of land. Out past the mountains lies a no man's land with nothing but dirt and scrub bushes.
See also: land, no

no man's land

an intermediate or ambiguous area of thought or activity.
This phrase was used literally in the late 16th century for a piece of land without an owner, but it is particularly associated with the terrain between the German trenches and those of the Allied forces in World War I. The figurative use of the phrase dates from the late 19th century.
See also: land, no
References in periodicals archive ?
During one of those visits, the master himself showed me a couple of objects like stones and pieces of wood that he carefully painted--like what he did years before with schoolchilderen in the no-man's land near smalltown Koya between the two Kurdish factions that were fighting each other brutally in those years.
Narrator E: Another night, Captain Boyd sends two soldiers into No-Man's Land on a different kind of mission.
Together they turned a no-man's land into a promised land.
On Armistice Day, one of the most haunting Great War images showing the Liverpool Scottish (10th Scottish Battalion of the King's Regiment, Liverpool) under heavy shell-fire in no-man's land, taken by seriously wounded Huyton soldier Frederick Alexander Fyfe, MC, during the assault of Bellewaarde Ridge, Battle of Hooge, June 16, 1916.
5-mile-wide no-man's land is the latest symbol of historic reconciliation between North and South Korea.
On 26 minutes, the visitors grabbed the lead when Colwyn keeper Zak Hibbert was caught in no-man's land and dispossessed by Sam Litchfield, who slid the ball home via a post.
Taking a position in the no-man's land between the irreconcilable pro- and anti-Freud camps, Kramer approaches Freud both critically and sympathetically.
1 was caught in no-man's land and could only watch in despair as the ball rolled past him to leave John Coutts the easy job of stroking home and sending the big travelling support into raptures.
military's preference for gearing up to fight "near-peer," state-sponsored professional militaries, our major enemy today is scruffy cells of religious zealots or political opportunists who operate in a pan-national no-man's land.
Where past critics were often dubious about McKay's crossings over into unsuitable political and literary contact zones, scholars have generally refused even to follow his deviations into homoerotic no-man's land.
Once a no-man's land of derelict and depressed buildings, the Bronx is now considered a final frontier with upside potential by many investors, according to Massey Knakal partner, Marco Lala, who just closed on the $48 million sale of a portfolio of 14 apartment buildings seen burning in the movie The Bonfire of the Vanities.
Israeli air raids worsened the damage, turning the Bourj into a no-man's land.
patrolled strip of no-man's land that is the last point at which he'll ever see his daughter again.
It reads with the drama of a novel but provides a combat memoir following the author's Vietnam tour of duty, where he's stationed in a no-man's land area and flues without ID or rank.
Denkmal fur die ermordeten Juden Europas (Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe), which was inaugurated in the capital last May, was first discussed in 1988, when the site near the Brandenburg Gate was still part of a no-man's land just inside the East German border.