Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun,, often capitalized welt·an·schau·ung \ˈvelt-ˌän-ˌshau̇-əŋ\

Definition of weltanschauung

plural weltanschauungs play \-əŋz\ or weltanschauungen play \-əŋ-ən\

  1. :  a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world especially from a specific standpoint

Did You Know?

The German word Weltanschauung literally means "world view"; it combines "Welt" ("world") with "Anschauung" ("view"), which ultimately derives from the Middle High German verb schouwen ("to look at" or "to see"). When we first adopted it from German in the mid-19th century, "weltanschauung" referred to a philosophical view or apprehension of the universe, and this sense is still the most widely used. It can also describe a more general ideology or philosophy of life.

Origin of weltanschauung

German, from Welt world + Anschauung view

First Known Use: 1868

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up weltanschauung? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the range of perception or understanding

Get Word of the Day daily email!