world

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: the earthly state of human existence
b
: life after death
used with a qualifier
the next world
2
: the earth with its inhabitants and all things upon it
3
: individual course of life : career
4
: the inhabitants of the earth : the human race
5
a
: the concerns of the earth and its affairs as distinguished from heaven and the life to come
b
: secular affairs
6
: the system of created things : universe
7
a
: a division or generation of the inhabitants of the earth distinguished by living together at the same place or at the same time
the medieval world
b
: a distinctive class of persons or their sphere of interest or activity
the academic world
the digital world
8
: human society
withdraw from the world
9
: a part or section of the earth that is a separate independent unit
10
: the sphere or scene of one's life and action
living in your own little world
11
: an indefinite multitude or a great quantity or distance
makes a world of difference
a world away
12
: the whole body of living persons : public
announced their discovery to the world
13
: kingdom sense 4
the animal world
14
: a celestial body (such as a planet)

world

2 of 2

adjective

1
: of or relating to the world
a world championship
2
a
: extending or found throughout the world : worldwide
brought about world peace
b
: involving or applying to part of or the whole world
a world tour
a world state
c
: internationally recognized : renowned, distinguished
a world authority on gemstones
Phrases
for all the world
: in every way : exactly
copies which look for all the world like the original
in the world
: among innumerable possibilities : ever
used as an intensive
what in the world is it
out of this world
: of extraordinary excellence : superb

Examples of world in a Sentence

Noun the countries of the world He is famous throughout the world. They sailed around the world. It can be found anywhere in the world. The product is shipped halfway around the world. The problem occurs in many parts of the world. The island was cut off from the rest of the world. They want to see the world. the Eastern and Western worlds people living in the English-speaking world Adjective She broke the world record. They won the world championship. a world authority on gemstones
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The sports world has seen a major shakeup this year: The 2024 Women’s March Madness tournament is rapidly surpassing old attendance records, Swifties and football fans sat down together for NFL games this winter and female athletes are creating signature shoes with top brands. Alex York, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 Department of Data We here at the Department of Data are dedicated to exploring the weird and wondrous power of the data that defines our world. Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2024 And, rather than rely on game highlights and interviews with all-star players, the league has embraced all-stars from the entertainment and digital worlds, names already familiar to a younger audience. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2024 Her feature work includes Late Night, the Mindy Kaling-Emma Thompson comedy set in the late night talk show world, and The High Note, the romantic drama set in the music arena that starred Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Mar. 2024 Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and some big names from the entertainment world teamed up Thursday night to deliver a rousing New York embrace of President Joe Biden that hauled in a record-setting $26 million-plus for his reelection campaign. Colleen Long, Fortune, 29 Mar. 2024 Studying exactly how this plays out in the real world is tricky though, because our bodies are constantly hearing from other zeitgebers like light and food. Will Stone, NPR, 29 Mar. 2024 There are two kinds of people in this world: Those that love bone-shaking, ear-splitting spectacles, like fireworks and arena-sized heavy metal concerts, and those who want nothing more than to miss such events for a night on the couch with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. Trish Deitch, Variety, 29 Mar. 2024 Most people aren’t problem gamblers, just as most people can navigate a world of beer ads without becoming alcoholics. Jay Caspian Kang, The New Yorker, 29 Mar. 2024
Adjective
Some anti-world entity swooped in, lifting me from one body and dropping me into another. Joshunda Sanders, BostonGlobe.com, 9 Feb. 2023 At the Boulevard Riyadh, the quasi-world fair, women in black niqabs joined more colorfully attired attendees in enjoying music acts that would have been deemed impossibly risque a few years ago. Nabih Bulosstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 25 Dec. 2022 Most Africans who adhere non-world religions are shifting to Islam or Christianity. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 24 July 2010 Drama ensues, and so does a multi-year, cross-world tale of loving your family. Katherine Singh, refinery29.com, 26 Apr. 2022 The new numbers are just the latest evidence that this is the world American workers are living in right now. New York Times, 3 Dec. 2021 At one point, Borgov offers Beth a draw, which would leave her co-world champion. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, 26 Oct. 2020 The former two-time United States Olympian and multi-world record holder was going to make sure his student-athletes stayed safe while addressing their physical and mental needs. Emmett Hall, sun-sentinel.com, 17 Sep. 2020 The goal was to turn mainland Chinese citizens and world public opinion against the movement. Lenora Chu, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 June 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word '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

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Old English woruld human existence, this world, age (akin to Old High German weralt age, world); akin to Old English wer man, eald old — more at virile, old

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of world was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near world

Cite this Entry

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

Kids Definition

world

noun
ˈwər(-ə)ld
1
: the earth and all the people and things upon it
2
: people in general : humanity
3
: the system of created things : universe
4
: the concerns of the earth and human affairs as distinguished from heaven and the life to come
5
: human society
withdraw from the world
6
: a class of persons sharing a common interest or activity
the musical world
7
: a part or section of the earth and the people who live in it
8
: the scene of one's life and action
living in your own little world
9
: a great number or amount
a world of troubles
10
: a heavenly body (as a planet) especially if lived upon

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