Welt·​an·​schau·​ung ˈvelt-ˌän-ˌshau̇-əŋ How to pronounce Weltanschauung (audio)
variants or less commonly weltanschauung
plural Weltanschauungen ˈvelt-ˌän-ˌshau̇-əŋ-ən How to pronounce Weltanschauung (audio) also Weltanschauungs ˈvelt-ˌän-ˌshau̇-əŋz How to pronounce Weltanschauung (audio)
: a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world especially from a specific standpoint : worldview
… she possesses a weltanschauung that is unremittingly positive …Leonore Fleischer
In my personal Weltanschauung, there is nothing wrong with arm hair, giant headphones are silly and skin-lightening products are creepy and grim.Victoria Coren Mitchell
"… We thought we could make things better for everyone. I shared that whole Kennedy-era Weltanschauung. …"Jim McBride
… British bloggers and readers are far more familiar with the American Weltanschauung. But are we also starting to write like Americans?Daniel Hannan

Did you know?

The German word Weltanschauung literally means "world view"; it combines Welt, meaning "world," with Anschauung, meaning "view." (You might have noticed this word’s resemblance to another German borrowing, weltschmerz, meaning “world-weariness” or “world-pain”). When English speakers first adopted Weltanschauung in the mid-19th century, it 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. Note that the word is typically capitalized in English, as all nouns are in German.

Word History


German, from Welt world + Anschauung view

First Known Use

1868, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Weltanschauung was in 1868


Dictionary Entries Near Weltanschauung

Cite this Entry

“Weltanschauung.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Weltanschauung. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

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