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 communityb : an empty or pathless area or region in remote wildernesses of space groups of nebulae are found — G. W. Gray †1960c : 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 Shakespeareb : a bewildering situation those moral wildernesses of civilized life — Norman Mailer
Examples of wilderness in a Sentence
She enjoys hikes through the wilderness.
released the wolf back into the wilderness
Recent Examples of wilderness from the Web
Though the idea of putting a power plant in a wilderness area raised some hackles, the location was in many ways ideal.
Decades of drainage and pollution from South Florida development and farming have already claimed half of the Everglades — a subtropical wilderness that includes sawgrass marshes, tree islands and mangrove coasts.
Working with former Republican Gov. and U.S. Sen. Dan Evans, Lowry also co-founded the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, which works to create new local and state parks, and preserve wilderness areas and farmlands.
It’s mostly found in Central Idaho, especially in the Frank Church wilderness area.
Whether enjoying a gourmet picnic or trying your hand at fishing, there’s much to do in this pocket of wilderness.
Chicago-area native Madeline Connelly spent seven days and six nights lost in the beautiful but brutal wilderness of northwest Montana.
Romano has thousands of negatives from Taylor, a studio photographer who ventured by horseback and rail into the wilderness to chronicle the harvest of hardwood trees near the boom town of Richwood.
Some doubted any of them could last long in the African wilderness.
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.
Origin and Etymology of wilderness
Middle English, from wildern wild, from Old English wilddēoren of wild beasts
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
WILDERNESS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of wilderness for English Language Learners
: a wild and natural area in which few people live
WILDERNESS Defined for Kids
Definition of wilderness for Students
: an area in its natural state in which few or no people live
Seen and Heard
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