from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An unsettled, uncultivated region left in its natural condition, especially:
- n. A large wild tract of land covered with dense vegetation or forests.
- n. An extensive area, such as a desert or ocean, that is barren or empty; a waste.
- n. A piece of land set aside to grow wild.
- n. Something characterized by bewildering vastness, perilousness, or unchecked profusion: the wilderness of the city; the wilderness of counterespionage; a wilderness of voices.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An unsettled and uncultivated tract of land left in its natural state.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A tract of land, or a region, uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings, whether a forest or a wide, barren plain; a wild; a waste; a desert; a pathless waste of any kind.
- n. A disorderly or neglected place.
- n. Quality or state of being wild; wildness.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A tract of land inhabited only by wild beasts; a desert, whether forest or plain.
- n. A wild; a waste of any kind.
- n. A part of a garden set apart for plants to grow in with unchecked luxuriance.
- n. A confused or bewildering mass, heap, or collection.
- n. Wildness.
- n. Synonyms Wilderness, Desert. See desert.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a wooded region in northeastern Virginia near Spotsylvania where bloody but inconclusive battles were fought in the American Civil War
- n. (politics) a state of disfavor
- n. a bewildering profusion
- n. a wild and uninhabited area left in its natural condition
Middle English, from Old English *wilddēornes, probably from wilddēor, wild beast : wilde, wild + dēor, wild animal.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Either from unattested Old English *wilddēornes (cognate with Dutch wildernis, German Wildnis), or from Old English wilddēoren ("wild, savage") + -nes ("-ness"). (Wiktionary)