Meaning of “how, what, why, etc. on earth...” in the English Dictionary

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"how, what, why, etc. on earth..." in British English

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how, what, why, etc. on earth...


C1 used when you are extremely surprised, confused, or angry about something:

How on earth did this happen?
Why on earth didn't you tell me before?

(Definition of “how, what, why, etc. on earth...” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)