Definitions

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

  • n. The earth.
  • n. The universe.
  • n. The earth with its inhabitants.
  • n. The inhabitants of the earth; the human race.
  • n. Humankind considered as social beings; human society: turned her back on the world.
  • n. People as a whole; the public: The event amazed the world.
  • n. A specified part of the earth: the Western World.
  • n. A part of the earth and its inhabitants as known at a given period in history: the ancient world.
  • n. A realm or domain: the animal world; the world of imagination.
  • n. A sphere of human activity or interest: the world of sports.
  • n. A class or group of people with common characteristics or pursuits: the scientific world.
  • n. A particular way of life: the world of the homeless.
  • n. All that relates to or affects the life of a person: He saw his world collapse about him.
  • n. Secular life and its concerns: a man of the world.
  • n. Human existence; life: brought a child into the world.
  • n. A state of existence: the next world.
  • n. A large amount; much. Often used in the plural: did her a world of good; candidates that are worlds apart on foreign policy.
  • n. A celestial body such as a planet: the possibility of life on other worlds.
  • adj. Of or relating to the world: a world champion.
  • adj. Involving or extending throughout the entire world: a world crisis.
  • idiom for all the world In all respects; precisely: She looked for all the world like a movie star.
  • idiom in the world Used as an intensive: How in the world did they manage? I never in the world would have guessed.
  • idiom out of this world Informal Extraordinary; superb: The dinner was out of this world.
  • idiom the world over Throughout the world: known the world over.
  • idiom world without end Forever.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Human collective existence; existence in general.
  • n. The Universe.
  • n. The Earth.
  • n. A planet,especially one which is inhabited or inhabitable.
  • n. An individual or group perspective or social setting.
  • n. A great amount.
  • v. to consider or cause to be considered from a global perspective; to consider as a global whole, rather than making or focussing on national or other distinctions; compare globalise
  • v. to make real; to make worldly

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The earth and the surrounding heavens; the creation; the system of created things; existent creation; the universe.
  • n. Any planet or heavenly body, especially when considered as inhabited, and as the scene of interests analogous with human interests.
  • n. The earth and its inhabitants, with their concerns; the sum of human affairs and interests.
  • n. In a more restricted sense, that part of the earth and its concerns which is known to any one, or contemplated by any one; a division of the globe, or of its inhabitants; human affairs as seen from a certain position, or from a given point of view; also, state of existence; scene of life and action.
  • n. The customs, practices, and interests of men; general affairs of life; human society; public affairs and occupations.
  • n. Individual experience of, or concern with, life; course of life; sum of the affairs which affect the individual.
  • n. The inhabitants of the earth; the human race; people in general; the public; mankind.
  • n. The earth and its affairs as distinguished from heaven; concerns of this life as distinguished from those of the life to come; the present existence and its interests; hence, secular affairs; engrossment or absorption in the affairs of this life; worldly corruption; the ungodly or wicked part of mankind.
  • n. As an emblem of immensity, a great multitude or quantity; a large number.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An age of man; a generation.
  • n. Any state or sphere of existence; any wide scene of life or action: as, a future world; the world to come.
  • n. The system of created things; all created existences; the whole creation; the created universe: a use dating from the time when the earth was supposed to be the center and sum of everything.
  • n. The inhabitants of the earth and their concerns or interests; the human race; humanity; mankind: also, a certain section, division, or class of men considered as a separate or independent whole; a number or body of people united by a common faith, cause, aim, object, pursuit, or the like: as, the religious world; the Christian world; the heathen world; the political, literary, or scientific world; the world of letters.
  • n. The earth and all created things upon it; the terraqueous globe.
  • n. That which pertains to the earth or to this present state of existence merely; secular affairs or interests; the concerns of this life, as opposed to those of the future life.
  • n. A particular part of the globe; a large portion or division of the globe: as, the Old World (the eastern hemisphere); the New World (the western hemisphere); the Roman world.
  • n. Public life; life in society; intercourse with one's fellows.
  • n. Any celestial orb or planetary body, especially considered as peopled, and as the scene of interests kindred to those of mankind.
  • n. The part of mankind that is devoted to the affairs of this life or interested in secular affairs; those concerned especially for the interests and pleasures of the present state of existence; the unregenerate or ungodly part of humanity.
  • n. The ways and manners of men; the practices of life; the habits, customs, and usages of society; social life in its various aspects.
  • n. A course of life; a career.
  • n. The current of events, especially as affecting the individual; circumstances or affairs, particularly those closely relating to one's self.
  • n. Any system of more or less complexity or development, characterized by harmony, order, or completeness; anything forming an organic whole; a microcosm.
  • n. Sphere; domain; province; region; realm: as, the world of dreams; the world of art.
  • n. A great number or quantity: as, a world of people; a world of words; a world of meaning. Compare a world, below.
  • n. Used in emphatic phrases expressing wonder, astonishment, perplexity, etc.: as, what in the world am I to do? how in all the world did you get there?
  • n. The sum of what the world contains; everything: as, she is all the world to me. Compare the whole world, below.
  • n. Hence the expression woman of the world (that is, a married woman), used by Audrey in “As you Like it.”
  • n. Synonyms Globe, etc. See earth.
  • To introduce into the world; give birth to.

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

  • n. all of the living human inhabitants of the earth
  • n. the 3rd planet from the sun; the planet we live on
  • n. everything that exists anywhere
  • n. a part of the earth that can be considered separately
  • adj. involving the entire earth; not limited or provincial in scope
  • n. people in general; especially a distinctive group of people with some shared interest
  • n. all of your experiences that determine how things appear to you
  • n. people in general considered as a whole
  • n. the concerns of this life as distinguished from heaven and the afterlife

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English weorold; see wī-ro- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English world, weoreld, from Old English world, worold, woruld, weorold ("world, age, men, humanity, life, way of life, long period of time, cycle, eternity"), from Proto-Germanic *weraldiz (“lifetime, worldly existence, mankind, age of man, world”), equivalent to wer (“man”) +‎ eld (“age”). Cognate with Scots warld ("world"), West Frisian wrâld ("world"), Dutch wereld ("world"), Low German Werld ("world"), German Welt ("world"), Swedish värld ("world"), Icelandic veröld ("the world"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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