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 ?
"We are ready to create refugees camps in the in no-man's land between Lebanon and Syria after studying the circumstances."
There were times in 2006-08 when farms weres in a no-man's land. Many locals say they are still too dangerous to visit.
BLACK GOLD (12A) CAST: Tahar Rahim, Antonio Banderas, Mark Strong, Freida Pinto PLOT: It's the 1930s on the Arabian peninsula and two rival kingdoms agree to keep an area of no-man's land between them by using two sons as collateral.
The pounds 17.3million signing was left in no-man's land as Daniel Agger headed home a corner to put Liverpool ahead on the way to a 2-1 win.
If you make a three-point landing, you don't get into this "no-man's land" situation.
People living there had sought a name for the previously nameless piece of land, located in Block 934, because they were effectively living in no-man's land.
Kurdish people the world over love Kurdish painter Ismail Khayat for his action painting of schoolchildren in the war-stricken no-man's land near Koya.
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.
The one-off test run of trains through the 2.5-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.
The hapless No.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 they will strike next against American interests, pitting their box cutters against aircraft carriers, is anybody's guess.