noun \ˈwər(-ə)ld\

Definition of world

  1. 1a :  the earthly state of human existenceb :  life after death —used with a qualifier <the next world>

  2. 2 :  the earth with its inhabitants and all things upon it

  3. 3 :  individual course of life :  career

  4. 4 :  the inhabitants of the earth :  the human race

  5. 5a :  the concerns of the earth and its affairs as distinguished from heaven and the life to comeb :  secular affairs

  6. 6 :  the system of created things :  universe

  7. 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. 8 :  human society <withdraw from the world>

  9. 9 :  a part or section of the earth that is a separate independent unit

  10. 10 :  the sphere or scene of one's life and action <living in your own little world>

  11. 11 :  an indefinite multitude or a great quantity or distance <makes a world of difference> <a world away>

  12. 12 :  the whole body of living persons :  public <announced their discovery to the world>

  13. 13 :  kingdom 5 <the animal world>

  14. 14 :  a celestial body (as a planet)

for all the world

  1. :  in every way :  exactly <copies which look for all the world like the original>

in the world

  1. :  among innumerable possibilities :  ever —used as an intensive <what in the world is it>

out of this world

  1. :  of extraordinary excellence :  superb

Examples of world in a sentence

  1. the countries of the world

  2. He is famous throughout the world.

  3. They sailed around the world.

  4. It can be found anywhere in the world.

  5. The product is shipped halfway around the world.

  6. The problem occurs in many parts of the world.

  7. The island was cut off from the rest of the world.

  8. They want to see the world.

  9. the Eastern and Western worlds

  10. people living in the English-speaking world

Origin and Etymology of 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

First Known Use: before 12th century




Definition of world

  1. 1 :  of or relating to the world <a world championship>

  2. 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>

Examples of world in a sentence

  1. She broke the world record.

  2. They won the world championship.

  3. a world authority on gemstones

12th Century

First Known Use of world

12th century

WORLD Defined for English Language Learners



noun \ˈwər(-ə)ld\

Definition of world for English Language Learners

  • 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




Definition of world for English Language Learners

  • : of or relating to the whole world

  • : extending or found throughout the world

  • : involving many parts of the world or the whole world

WORLD Defined for Kids


noun \ˈwərld\

Definition of world for Students

  1. 1 :  earth 1 <They sailed around the world.>

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

  3. 3 :  a state of existence <a future world>

  4. 4 :  a great number or amount <a world of troubles>

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

  6. 6 :  an area of interest or activity <the world of politics>

History for world

The original meaning of world, which goes back to Old English weorold, was “lifetime,” which makes sense in view of the word's makeup: it was a compound of Old English wer, “man,” and an element -old that meant “age” or “period of time” and is related to modern English old. Already in Old English, though, the word had extended meanings, such as “human life in general,” or “the earth and everything living on it.” These are some of its most common meanings today.

Seen and Heard

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


gray or white with or as if with age

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