Old World

1 of 2


: of, relating to, or characteristic of the Old World
old-world traditions/attitudes/beliefs
Many recipes for old-world cakes … call for whisking egg yolks with sugar until a pale yellow foam forms.Ben Mims
Pronghorns, distinctly North American and not allied to old-world goats or antelope, are the fastest land mammals on earth after cheetahs.Ted Williams
often : having the charm or picturesque qualities of the Old World
narrow old-world streets
… the house radiates a European sensibility … By recognizing and building upon this appealing old-world integrity, Joanne Deakins has placed the definitive stamp of her own decorating taste and style on the home's interior and furnishings. Southern Accents
The hotel is very old-world, and the tall dining room has all the accoutrements that a luxury hotel once required. Lillian Langseth-Christensen
the Old World
: the eastern hemisphere exclusive of Australia
… the pomegranate has been naturalized for so long throughout the Old World that no one is quite sure where it originated (but Persia seems most likely).Elizabeth Schneider
During the late Miocene, various kinds of apes evolved in widely separated parts of the Old World (but none in the New World).Marvin Harris
specifically : the continent of Europe
The Atlantic is a Lethean stream, in our passage over which we have had an opportunity to forget the Old World and its institutions. Henry David Thoreau
From America, the Old World would receive new staffs of life, such as corn and potatoes, as well as some of life's guilty pleasures, such as tobacco and chocolate. Peter Winn
compare new world

Examples of Old World in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The gracious, old-world Pabst and Riverside theaters also remain unbooked, according to entertainment industry officials. Jonathan Weisman, New York Times, 7 Apr. 2024 In addition to old-world hospitality and perks like afternoon tea, kids can head to the on-site stables and the expansive pool, or spend the day playing lawn games and mini-golf. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 7 Apr. 2024 If softening prices in other categories such as Napa or Burgundy reverse course and begin to soar again, Italian wine will maintain its appeal to those who are priced out of the market for Cabernet Sauvignon and old-world Pinot Noir. Mike Desimone and Jeff Jenssen, Robb Report, 31 Mar. 2024 Another highlight that discerning travelers will appreciate are the Diptyque bath products in each of the rooms and the calming color palettes – not a single old-world floral fabric in sight. Amy Louise Bailey, Travel + Leisure, 22 Mar. 2024 Schindler, who works as a Portuguese-English interpreter, is a longtime Washingtonian with an old-world sensibility. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 22 Mar. 2024 Located inland only a half-hour drive southwest from the island's capital, Palma, the Castell is a bastion of calm and old-world Spanish taste. Tony Perrottet, Condé Nast Traveler, 22 Mar. 2024 Explore Anna Maria Island 05 of 20 Florida: St. Augustine From the ramparts of its 17th-century Castillo de San Marcos to the old-world streetscapes of the historic district and its oak-canopied roads, this storied city on Florida's Atlantic coastline is nearly picture-perfect. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 4 Mar. 2024 The Night Of Enchantment Rug has old-world regency vibes in two colors, Deep Teal and Plum. Amanda Lauren, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Old World.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


circa 1596, in the meaning defined above


1712, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Old World was circa 1596

Dictionary Entries Near Old World

old wood

Old World


Cite this Entry

“Old World.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Old%20World. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
: of or relating to the Old World
: having old-fashioned charm

Old World

2 of 2 noun
: the eastern hemisphere except Australia
especially : the continent of Europe
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