wilderness

noun
wil·​der·​ness | \ ˈwil-dər-nəs How to pronounce wilderness (audio) \

Definition of wilderness

1a(1) : a tract or region uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings
(2) : an area essentially undisturbed by human activity together with its naturally developed life community
b : an empty or pathless area or region in remote wildernesses of space groups of nebulae are found— G. W. Gray †1960
c : a part of a garden devoted to wild growth
2 obsolete : wild or uncultivated state
3a : a confusing multitude or mass : an indefinitely great number or quantity I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys— William Shakespeare
b : a bewildering situation those moral wildernesses of civilized life— Norman Mailer

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Examples of wilderness in a Sentence

She enjoys hikes through the wilderness. released the wolf back into the wilderness
Recent Examples on the Web No games are ready for commercial release, though Midwinter has been play-testing one title, called Scavengers, where opposing players must decide whether to join forces to defeat monsters and survive in the wilderness. Amy Thomson, Bloomberg.com, "SoftBank-Backed Improbable’s Effort to Revolutionize Gaming Industry Is Struggling," 7 May 2020 The settlers who came here saw, in the harsh prairie, a chance to make a life in the wilderness. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "With the coronavirus, an opportunity to reinvent Dallas," 30 Apr. 2020 To wind down after a day of work, stretch out on your sofa, close your eyes (adding a sleep mask would be even better), and take an imaginary trip to the Arctic wilderness. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Life Tips from Finland, the Happiest Country in the World," 9 Apr. 2020 For more information about access to wilderness and urban trails, visit nps.gov. Lyndsey Matthews, Good Housekeeping, "Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Other National Parks Close Due to Coronavirus," 25 Mar. 2020 Yosemite Wilderness Trailhead quotas for access to the wilderness in Yosemite National Park also are filled by a lottery. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Reserving campsites is now an annual competition in California," 8 Jan. 2020 President Barack Obama’s administration tried to kill Twin Metals by refusing to renew the company’s mineral rights leases, saying the threat of acid mine drainage was an unacceptable risk to the wilderness. Steve Karnowski, Twin Cities, "Twin Metals Minnesota files formal mine plan with regulators," 18 Dec. 2019 President Barack Obama’s administration tried to kill Twin Metals by refusing to renew the company’s mineral rights leases, saying the threat of acid mine drainage was an unacceptable risk to the wilderness. Washington Post, "Twin Metals Minnesota files formal mine plan with regulators," 18 Dec. 2019 This season of Alaskan Bush People shows the Brown family relocating to the wilderness of Washington state after matriarch Ami gets treated for cancer in California. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "Why the ‘Alaskan Bush People’ Family Can Never Move Back to Alaska," 2 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wilderness.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of wilderness

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for wilderness

Middle English, from wildern wild, from Old English wilddēoren of wild beasts

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Time Traveler for wilderness

Time Traveler

The first known use of wilderness was in the 13th century

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Statistics for wilderness

Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wilderness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wilderness. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for wilderness

wilderness

noun
How to pronounce wilderness (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wilderness

: a wild and natural area in which few people live

wilderness

noun
wil·​der·​ness | \ ˈwil-dər-nəs How to pronounce wilderness (audio) \

Kids Definition of wilderness

: an area in its natural state in which few or no people live

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Comments on wilderness

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