world [world worlds] BrE [wɜːld] NAmE [wɜːrld] nounTHE EARTH/ITS PEOPLE
1. the world singular the earth, with all its countries, peoples and natural features
. to sail around the world
. travelling (all over) the world
. a map of the world
. French is spoken in many parts of the world.
. Which is the largest city in the world.
. He's the world's highest paid entertainer.
. a meeting of world leaders
. campaigning for world peace
2. countable, usually singular a particular part of the earth; a particular group of countries or people; a particular period of history and the people of that period
. the Arab world
. the English-speaking world
. the industrialized and developing worlds
. the ancient/modern world
see also First World, New World, Old World, Third World
3. countable a planet like the earth
TYPE OF LIFE
. There may be other worlds out there.
4. countable the people or things belonging to a particular group or connected with a particular interest, job, etc
. the animal/plant/insect world
. the world of fashion
. stars from the sporting and artistic worlds
5. usually singular (usually used with an adjective) everything that exists of a particular kind; a particular kind of life or existence
. the natural world (= animals, plants, minerals, etc.)
. They are a couple in the real world as well as in the movie.
. The island is a world of brilliant colours and dramatic sunsets.
. They had little contact with the outside world (= people and places that were not part of their normal life).
6. singular a person's environment, experiences, friends and family, etc
. Parents are the most important people in a child's world.
. When his wife died, his entire world was turned upside down.
7. singular our society and the way people live and behave; the people in the world
. We live in a rapidly changing world.
. He's too young to understand the ways of the world.
. The whole world was waiting for news of the astronauts.
. She felt that the world was against her.
. The eyes of the world are on the President.
8. the world singular a way of life where possessions and physical pleasures are important, rather than spiritual values
. monks and nuns renouncing the world
see also olde worlde, old-world
9. singular the state of human existence
. this world and the next (= life on earth and existence after death)
more at brave new world at brave adj., dead to the world at dead adj., not the end of the world at end n., be lost to the world at lost, promise (sb) the earth/moon/world at promise v., it's a small world at small adj., on top of the world at top n., watch the world go by at watch v., the way of the world at way n., with the best will in the world at will n., the worst of all (possible) worlds at worst n.
Idioms: all the world to somebody ▪ best of all possible worlds ▪ come into the world ▪ do somebody the world of good ▪ for all the world as if ▪ for all the world like somebody ▪ go up in the world ▪ have the world at your feet ▪ how/why in the world ▪ in a world of your own ▪ in an a perfect world ▪ in the world ▪ man of the world ▪ not for the world ▪ out of this world ▪ see the world ▪ set the world on fire ▪ set the world to rights ▪ the … of this world ▪ what is the world coming to? ▪ world and his wife ▪ world away ▪ world is your oyster ▪ world of difference ▪ world over ▪ worlds apart
See also: set the world alight
Old English w(e)oruld, from a Germanic compound meaning ‘age of man’; related to Dutch wereld and German Welt.
. Although they are twins, they are worlds apart in their attitude to life.
. Aren't you interested in the world outside your window?
. As a young man, he wanted to see the world before he settled down.
. Astronomers across the world will be watching the night sky.
. At this age, babies are starting to take an interest in the world around them.
. Can you imagine a world without possessions?
. Children often have their own private world.
. Communist parties were formed on a world scale after the Russian Revolution.
. Computer games create whole virtual worlds.
. Fast food outlets seem to be taking over the world.
. First World consumers will have to eat less meat.
. For the first time since the death of her parents, she felt able to face the world.
. He closed his eyes and tried to shut out the world.
. He entered the world of politics in 1997.
. He felt he was the luckiest man in the whole world.
. He felt ready to take on the world when he finished college.
. He has never before featured in the top ten world rankings.
. He is at the head of a world media empire.
. He is on a quest to rid the world of evil.
. He just wanted to shut himself away from the rest of the world.
. He likes to sit outside his front door and watch the world go by.
. He seems to think that the world owes him a living.
. He wanted to tell the world how happy he was.
. He was easily beaten by the reigning world champion.
. He was so happy to leave school, he felt ready to take on the world.
. He's too young to understand the ways of the world.
. He's well known in the fashion world.
. Heads of state from all over the Arab world gathered for the conference.
. His world fell apart when his wife died.
. I like living in the country because I'm interested in the natural world.
. I tapped on the window to get her attention but she was in a world of her own.
. I'm sure we'll meet again. It's a very small world in this profession.
. In an ideal world, I'd like to work just three days a week.
. In the Western world, there is a different attitude to marriage.
. In the real world things don't always happen like they do in books.
. In the world of finance there is little room for sentiment.
. In today's globalized world, telecommunications have broken down boundaries.
. It won't be the end of the world if you don't get the job.
. It's an interesting part of the world.
. Machismo is a New World phenomenon with roots in Old World cultures.
. Many people imagine the world ending with an explosion.
. Mediums claim to receive messages from the spirit world.
. One of these days, humankind will destroy the world.
. People throughout the world will be watching the big game on television.
. Scientists the world over have been waiting for this breakthrough.
. She enjoys creating imaginary worlds for children.
. She had brought six children into the world.
. She has to deal with the day-to-day world of bills, schools, and problems.
. She lives in her own inner world.
. She shattered the world record for the 200 metres.
. She tends to divide the world into ‘winners’ and ‘losers’.
. She thinks the world revolves around her and her schedule.
. She told him he was her only friend in the whole wide world.
. She was determined to show the world that she was no loser.
. Show business gave him the chance to escape into another world.
. Sweden leads the world in safety legislation.
. Teachers influence the world view of their young students.
. Technology has remade the world.
. The Portuguese team looked like world beaters in last night's game.
. The band are about to embark on a six-month world tour.
. The bombing alienated world opinion.
. The ceremony was watched live by millions around the world.
. The country became an important player on the world stage.
. The eyes of the world are on the president.
. The movie had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.
. The movie is set in a bizarre post-apocalyptic world.
. The news of the assassination shook the world.
. The team is world class.
. The wider world learned of his illness months after he told his family.
. There is a whole other world outside school.
. These tribesmen are proud survivors of a vanishing world.
. They believe that God created the world.
. This is an imperfect world, and we have to compromise.
. Throughout his time in prison he had no contact with the outside world.
. We come from different worlds.
. We come into the world with nothing.
. World oil prices continue to rise.
. Young people always think they are going to change the world.
. a medieval map of the known world
. a meeting of the major world powers
. a young writer who is taking the world by storm
. different ways of looking at the world
. scientists of world renown
. the architects' vision of a brave new world of pristine concrete
. the major world religions
. the new world order marked by American dominance
. In the ancient world, the jobs of miller and baker were usually combined.
. The book has sold 12 million copies in the English-speaking world and has been translated into six languages.
. The motto was inscribed on buildings throughout the Roman world.
1. everything that exists anywhere
- they study the evolution of the universe
- the biggest tree in existence
Syn: universe, existence, creation, cosmos, macrocosm
2. people in general; especially a distinctive group of people with some shared interest
- the Western world
3. all of your experiences that determine how things appear to you
- his world was shattered
- we live in different worlds
- for them demons were as much a part of reality as trees were
4. the 3rd planet from the sun; the planet we live on
- the Earth moves around the sun
- he sailed around the world
Syn: Earth, earth, globe
5. people in general considered as a whole
- he is a hero in the eyes of the public
Syn: populace, public
6. a part of the earth that can be considered separately
- the outdoor world
- the world of insects
7. the concerns of this life as distinguished from heaven and the afterlife
- they consider the church to be independent of the world
Syn: worldly concern, earthly concern, earth
- global war
- global monetary policy
- neither national nor continental but planetary
- a world crisis
- of worldwide significance
Syn: global, planetary, worldwide, world-wide
Webster's 1913 Dictionary:
|1.||The earth and the surrounding heavens; the creation; the system of created things; existent creation; the universe.|
The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen.
With desire to know,
What nearer might concern him, how this world
Of heaven and earth conspicuous first began.
|2.||Any planet or heavenly body, especially when considered as inhabited, and as the scene of interests analogous with human interests; as, a plurality of worlds.|
Amongst innumerable stars, that shone
Star distant, but high-hand seemed other worlds.
There may be other worlds, where the inhabitants have never violated their allegiance to their almighty Sovereign.
|3.||The earth and its inhabitants, with their concerns; the sum of human affairs and interests.|
That forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe.
|4.||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; as, the Old World; the New World; the religious world; the Catholic world; the upper world; the future world; the heathen world.|
One of the greatest in the Christian world
Shall be my surety.
Murmuring that now they must be put to make war beyond the world's end - for so they counted Britain.
|5.||The customs, practices, and interests of men; general affairs of life; human society; public affairs and occupations; as, a knowledge of the world.|
Happy is she that from the world retires.
If knowledge of the world makes man perfidious,
May Juba ever live in ignorance.
|6.||Individual experience of, or concern with, life; course of life; sum of the affairs which affect the individual; as, to begin the world with no property; to lose all, and begin the world anew.|
|7.||The inhabitants of the earth; the human race; people in general; the public; mankind.|
Since I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it.
Tell me, wench, how will the world repute me
For undertaking so unstaid a journey?
|8.||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.|
I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
|9.||As an emblem of immensity, a great multitude or quantity; a large number.|
Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company.
A world of woes dispatched in little space.
O, you are novices; 't is a world to see
How tame, when men and women are alone,
A meacock wretch can make the curstest shrew.
Throughout all ages, world without end.
To dream that it is the end of the world, suggests that you are under a tremendous level of stress. You may be feeling vulnerable or helpless in some situation.
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