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 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