Meaning of “on earth” in the English Dictionary


"on earth" in American English

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on earth

infml in any conditions; of all possible things:

How on earth did this happen?
What on earth is that awful noise?
Note: Used after the question words how, what, when, where, who, and why to emphasize that you are very suprised or annoyed.

(Definition of “on earth” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)