from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The earth, especially together with the life it supports.
  • noun The universe.
  • noun Humankind considered as social beings; human society.
  • noun People as a whole; the public.
  • noun A specified part of the earth.
  • noun A part of the earth and its inhabitants as known at a given period in history.
  • noun A realm or domain.
  • noun A sphere of human activity or interest.
  • noun A class or group of people with common characteristics or pursuits.
  • noun A particular way of life.
  • noun All that relates to or affects the life of a person.
  • noun Secular life and its concerns.
  • noun Human existence; life.
  • noun A state of existence.
  • noun A large amount; much.
  • noun A celestial body such as a planet.
  • adjective Of or relating to the world.
  • adjective Involving or extending throughout the entire world.
  • idiom (for all the world) In all respects; precisely.
  • idiom (in the world) Used as an intensive.
  • idiom (out of this world) Extraordinary; superb.
  • idiom (the world over) Throughout the world.
  • idiom (world without end) Forever.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To introduce into the world; give birth to.
  • noun An age of man; a generation.
  • noun Any state or sphere of existence; any wide scene of life or action: as, a future world; the world to come.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The earth and all created things upon it; the terraqueous globe.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Public life; life in society; intercourse with one's fellows.
  • noun Any celestial orb or planetary body, especially considered as peopled, and as the scene of interests kindred to those of mankind.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The ways and manners of men; the practices of life; the habits, customs, and usages of society; social life in its various aspects.
  • noun A course of life; a career.
  • noun The current of events, especially as affecting the individual; circumstances or affairs, particularly those closely relating to one's self.
  • noun Any system of more or less complexity or development, characterized by harmony, order, or completeness; anything forming an organic whole; a microcosm.
  • noun Sphere; domain; province; region; realm: as, the world of dreams; the world of art.
  • noun A great number or quantity: as, a world of people; a world of words; a world of meaning. Compare a world, below.
  • noun 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?
  • noun The sum of what the world contains; everything: as, she is all the world to me. Compare the whole world, below.
  • noun Hence the expression woman of the world (that is, a married woman), used by Audrey in “As you Like it.”
  • noun Synonyms Globe, etc. See earth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The earth and the surrounding heavens; the creation; the system of created things; existent creation; the universe.
  • noun Any planet or heavenly body, especially when considered as inhabited, and as the scene of interests analogous with human interests.


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

[Middle English, from Old English weorold; see wī-ro- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word world.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.