third world

noun, often capitalized T&W

Definition of third world

1 : the aggregate of the underdeveloped nations of the world
2 : a group of nations especially in Africa and Asia not aligned with either the Communist or the non-Communist blocs
3 : an aggregate of minority groups within a larger predominant culture

Other Words from third world

third worlder \ ˈthərd-​ˈwər(-​ə)l-​dər How to pronounce third world (audio) \ noun, often capitalized T&W

First Known Use of third world

1958, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About third world

Time Traveler for third world

Time Traveler

The first known use of third world was in 1958

See more words from the same year

Statistics for third world

Cite this Entry

“Third world.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for third world

third world


English Language Learners Definition of third world

sometimes offensive : the countries of the world that are very poor and that have very few industries : the poor nations of the world


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!