Definition of terra incognita in English:

terra incognita


  • Unknown or unexplored territory.

    ‘the traveler is moving now through terra incognita’
    • ‘one actor's familiar world is another's terra incognita’
    • ‘The Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland were terra incognita to almost all Englishmen, and most Lowland Scots.’
    • ‘When Thomas Jefferson sent young Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and the Corps of Discovery to survey the lands beyond the Mississippi, the West was terra incognita.’
    • ‘Hence, large tracts of the North-Central Norwegian Caledonides are practically terra incognita with respect to late- to post-orogenic structural development.’
    • ‘The pleasure of this book for me, in addition to such stimulating detail, is that the Holy Roman Empire on the cusp of the 17th century is terra incognita, to be approached with a fresh eye.’
    • ‘Since the end of the 19th century, however, little research has been undertaken, and Portugal's haphazard vineyards have remained terra incognita, not just to outsiders but to the vine-growers themselves.’
    • ‘When he reached the Nuyts archipelago, named for the seventeenth-century Dutch navigator who had travelled that far but then turned south, and near the present-day town of Ceduna, Flinders was entering terra incognita.’
    • ‘We were setting out into terra incognita, marked only by blank spaces on the maps, drawn by the magnet of our ambition as explorers.’
    • ‘That's one way to look at it, because Nevada is terra incognita, a place where a person with four-wheel drive and sturdy boots can actually explore, seeing and doing things that have never been seen or done before.’
    • ‘The reality is, we don't really know with any certainty - we are in terra incognita, and we're really not sure what the rules are.’
    • ‘Humans have been crossing deserts by camel for millennia, sailing seas for a thousand years, climbing mountains for a hundred - the sky is the last great terra incognita for adventurers.’
    • ‘The last sentence, evoking the work's unprotected fall into ‘public domain,’ asserts that outside the walls of copyright lies only terra incognita.’
    • ‘Compared with rovers hobbling over all kinds of terra incognita, unmanned flying machines could peruse much more of a planet and do it faster, say Colozza and other proponents of flying robots.’
    • ‘If the anomaly is an indication of new physics, finding its origin might change our understanding of the laws of nature at a very basic level and turn our cosmic backyard into the new terra incognita.’
    • ‘Even for many classical music lovers, music from before the time of Johann Sebastian Bach is terra incognita; there's so much of it, and where does one start?’
    • ‘When Scott and his men walked out onto the ice, they stepped onto terra incognita; it was a place so remote and challenging that in the 18th century Captain Cook had declared no man would ever cross it.’
    • ‘She sees prospects for growth in the ties between the two countries, but at the same acknowledges that for many Dutch business people, Bulgaria is still terra incognita.’
    • ‘Giles was the last European to explore vast regions of unmapped desert in Central Australia, what the nineteenth century referred to as terra incognita.’
    • ‘My search for tramps has taken a side trip into terra incognita.’
    • ‘At this stage, however, we are still largely treading on terra incognita.’
    • ‘Even though she had a high school diploma in economics she did not have much confidence about doing the job because it was terra incognita for her.’


terra incognita

/ˌterə ˌinˌkäɡˈnēdə/ /ˌtɛrə ˌɪnˌkɑɡˈnidə/ /ˌterə ənˈkäɡnədə/ /ˌtɛrə ənˈkɑɡnədə/


Latin, ‘unknown land’.