\ˈwər(-ə)ld \

Definition of world 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

5a : 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

7a : 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)

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



Definition of world (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to the world a world championship

2a : 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

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Synonyms for world

Synonyms: Noun

folks, humanity, humankind, people, public

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Examples of world in a Sentence


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


She broke the world record. They won the world championship. a world authority on gemstones
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Conn’s notice contained six tweets from accounts around the world, while Bradshaw’s contained 19 links. NBC News, "Fans howl over taking down World Cup Twitter posts for copyright issues," 14 July 2018 In addition to traveling exhibitions in partnership with other museums around the world, the new V&A promises permanent Scottish Design Galleries chronicling the country’s rich history of design from the 15th century to today. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "A Guide to Dundee, Scotland—the First City Outside London to Get Its Very Own V&A Museum," 14 July 2018 Take a look and enjoy some of the most evocative, momentous images captured around the world in the past seven days. Fox News, "The week in pictures," 14 July 2018 For many centuries, and in many places around the world, women artists have been denied the opportunities afforded to their male counterparts. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Unprecedented Billboard Campaign Puts Spotlight on Indigenous Artists in Canada," 13 July 2018 There are some fine journalists who work there and risk their lives to report on stories around the world. Jeremy Barr, The Hollywood Reporter, "Trump in U.K.: "I Don't Take Questions From CNN"," 13 July 2018 Papa John’s is a pizza company with 120,000 corporate and franchise team members around the world. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Bendapudi manages first University of Louisville crisis magnificently," 13 July 2018 Giant hogweed originally grew in the Caucasus region but spread as it was introduced into botanical gardens around the world, according to the Virginia Invasive Species register. Sarah Klein,, "Giant Hogweed Sent This Virginia Teen to the Hospital. Here's What to Know About the Scary Plant That Can Burn Your Skin and Lead to Blindness," 13 July 2018 Putin seeks to discredit the practice of democracy around the world but especially in the United States and Europe. Joshua Tucker, Washington Post, "Will it be ‘happy talk’ — or will Trump and Putin focus on arms control and other critical issues?," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But at least for a while, Ms. Barzilai, a pop star with powerful vocals who celebrates difference and is now world famous for her clucking sounds and viral chicken dance, made Israelis feel good. New York Times, "‘Next Year in Jerusalem!’ In Israel, Eurovision Win Is Seen as a Diplomatic Victory, Too," 13 May 2018 Cook County is apparently the same place where Oprah Winfrey and Mr. T do their public duty, so world famous jurors are par for the course, but Obama is the highest-ranking former public official to be called for jury duty in Chicago history. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Here's What Barack Obama Is Doing Now," 16 Jan. 2018 Harvey Weinstein is a 64-year-old, world famous man and this is his company. Rose Minutaglio, Marie Claire, "How These Two Women Finally Exposed Harvey Weinstein," 23 Oct. 2017 Harvey Weinstein is a 64 year old, world famous man and this is his company. Lily Herman, Teen Vogue, "Harvey Weinstein's Accusers: The Full List," 16 Oct. 2017 Evidence of their grip is that one or the other has won every Olympic or world gold in the 200 individual medley since 2003. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "Swimming could use a new face: How about Caeleb Dressel?," 1 July 2017 Matterhorn is the brainchild of Canton native and world traveler Autumn Sutherland. Rand Richards Cooper,, "In Our Midst: Cantons In Canton: Take A Swing Out To Matterhorn Mini Golf," 3 June 2017 World champion competitive eater Joey Chestnut will compete against female champ Miki Sudo in a taco-eating championship. Jess Fleming, Twin Cities, "Here are 5 Twin Cities Cinco de Mayo events — and the food that goes with them," 1 May 2017 At Flying Pie Pizzaria, the pizza might not be world famous, but they are whirled famous. Spoon University, USA TODAY College, "Where to find the best pizza in every U.S. state (and Washington D.C.)," 25 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'world.' 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 world


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


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for world


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

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Statistics for world

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for world

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

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More Definitions for world



English Language Learners Definition of world

 (Entry 1 of 2)

the world : the earth and all the people and things on it

: a part of the world and the people and things that exist there

: human society



English Language Learners Definition of world (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to the whole world

: extending or found throughout the world

: involving many parts of the world or the whole world


\ˈwərld \

Kids Definition of world

1 : earth sense 1 They sailed around the world.

2 : people in general : humanity The whole world knows his name.

3 : a state of existence a future world

4 : a great number or amount a world of troubles

5 : a part or section of the earth Antarctica is a unique world.

6 : an area of interest or activity the world of politics

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More from Merriam-Webster on world

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for world

Spanish Central: Translation of world

Nglish: Translation of world for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of world for Arabic Speakers

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