1. To descend from the air and set down in some place or thing. The plane was forced to land in Atlanta due to a problem with its fuel tank. The wasp landed right in the bowl of pudding.
2. Of an aircraft, to perform a landing in the midst of certain weather conditions (e.g., fog, rain, snow, etc.). I don't know how you expect to land in fog as thick as this! The helicopter was forced to land in gale-force winds.
3. To arrive at, come to, or end up in a particular situation, especially one that is problematic, dangerous, undesirable, etc. In this usage, a name or pronoun can be used after "land" when talking about performing the action on someone else. You're going to land in a whole heap of trouble if you don't start filing your taxes. I hope you realize that this investigation could land us in prison.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
land someone in something
to cause someone to end up in something. His criminal activity finally landed him in jail. You really landed yourself in a fine mess!
land in something
1. Lit. [for an airplane] to return to earth in or near a particular city. We landed in Chicago on time. They could not land in San Francisco, so they flew on to Sacramento.
2. Fig. [for someone] to end up in something, such as a mess, jail, trouble, etc. If you don't mend your ways, you're going to land in jail! Andy is going to land in hot water if he doesn't start paying his bills.
3. [for an airplane] to make a landing in something, such as bad weather, darkness, daylight, fog, etc. You can't land this plane in fog like this. The novice pilot is not capable of landing in the dark.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Also, land up. Arrive at, end in something. For example, This situation could land you in a terrible mess, or I never thought I'd land up with a reward for excellence. These expressions both employ land in the sense of "to end," a usage dating from the late 1600s.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To come down and settle in something after traveling through the air: The fly landed in my soup.
2. To arrive in some situation or condition as a result of a course of action: I landed in court after they fired me.
3. To cause someone or something to arrive in some situation or condition: The company's poor fiscal policies landed it in bankruptcy.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.