world

noun
\ ˈwər(-ə)ld How to pronounce world (audio) \

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

world

adjective

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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the new game, Kingdom Hearts 3, fans are able to return to their favorite Disney worlds and see what happens next. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "11 Disney Movie Plot Holes That Will Forever Be Annoying," 30 Jan. 2019 Radziwill, the younger sister of former first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis—and once one half of the most famous pair of sisters in the world—was born Caroline Lee Bouvier to stockbroker John Vernou Bouvier III and socialite Janet Lee Bouvier. Alessandra Codinha, Vogue, "Lee Radziwill Is Dead at 85," 16 Feb. 2019 Scientists have a new theory regarding one of the most famous structures in the world, Stonehenge. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Stonehenge Might Have Its Roots With Ancient Sailors From France," 12 Feb. 2019 The Swedish retailer may be best known for its minimalist flat-pack furniture that’s a staple of first apartments everywhere, but don’t let that fool you: IKEA is a serious player in the world of kitchen design. Jessica Dailey, Good Housekeeping, "All You Need," 11 Feb. 2019 In the opaque world of politics, that’s a pretty normal struggle: Nonprofits donate to other nonprofits. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "Reid Hoffman is learning an early rule of being a megadonor: It’s hard to keep track of your money," 26 Dec. 2018 An elite New York law firm is poised to break into the rarified world of U.S. Supreme Court work with the hire of a lawyer with exceptional experience in that area. Sara Randazzo, WSJ, "Paul Weiss Breaks Into Supreme Court Work With a New Partner," 27 Jan. 2019 And, even if Meghan doesn't ultimately decide to act professionally again, her position as the patron of the National Theatre could still be an avenue back into the world of entertainment. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Could Seriously Return to Acting, According to This Royal Historian," 19 Jan. 2019 Microsoft’s beloved Windows 7 is the most popular desktop PC operating system in the world, with over 40 percent market share, again by NetMarketShare. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "For some, the glory days of Microsoft are ending in about a year," 18 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 July 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 July 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 July 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 July 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 July 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 July 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 July 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of world

Noun

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

Adjective

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for world

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about world

Statistics for world

Last Updated

6 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for world

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for world

world

noun

English Language Learners Definition of world

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

world

adjective

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

world

noun
\ ˈwərld How to pronounce world (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on world

What made you want to look up world? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the way words of a language are spelled

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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