from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A plot of land belonging or yielding profit to an English parish church or an ecclesiastical office.
  • n. Archaic The soil or earth; land.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Turf; soil; ground; sod.
  • n. In medieval Europe, an area of land, belonging to a parish, whose revenues contributed towards the parish expenses.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A lump; a clod.
  • n. Turf; soil; ground; sod.
  • n. The land belonging, or yielding revenue, to a parish church or ecclesiastical benefice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. I. A lump; a mass or concretion.
  • n. In mineralogy, a piece of earth in which is contained some mineral ore.
  • n. Turf; soil; ground; farming-land.
  • n. Now, specifically, the cultivable land belonging to a parish church or ecclesiastical benefice. Also glebe-land.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. plot of land belonging to an English parish church or an ecclesiastical office


Latin glēba, clod.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin glēba "lump of earth, a clod". (Wiktionary)



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  • a. A tract of land containing mineral deposits or ore. b. Obsolete term for a clod of earth, an ore, or an earthy mineral. Arkell
    (Dictionary of Mining, Mineral, and Related Terms)

    June 10, 2011

  • From Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution

    March 6, 2011

  • Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield;
    Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
    How jocund did they drive their team afield!
    How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

    - T. Gray, 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard'.

    August 11, 2008

  • So I'm not completely delusional after all. How reassuring.

    April 16, 2008

  • It most certainly was set in Glebe. They also filmed it there.

    April 16, 2008

  • Hmm, I wonder where I got that from, then. I've spent less than 12 hours in Sydney, when I was ten; I have no knowledge of its geography.

    April 16, 2008

  • I just picture inner-city Sydney, not Glebe in particular ... might have been Balmain after all! I've met Melina Marchetta and talked to her about this book and I didn't have Glebe in my head after that conversation either.

    April 16, 2008

  • This always brings to mind Looking for Alibrandi. That's where she lived isn't it? Anyone care to correct me?

    April 16, 2008

  • Sydney has an inner-city suburb called Glebe. In Hobart there's an area of the city (not sure if it's strictly a suburb) that's still known as The Glebe. Presumably both were actual parish glebes at some point.

    April 16, 2008

  • I had always assumed this was just somebody's name. The actual etymology is much more interesting.

    September 22, 2007

  • glebe - etymologically similar to galilee

    April 8, 2007