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 qualifierthe 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 intensivewhat 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 my psychotherapy practice, there has been an epidemic of empathic patients consulting me who are exhausted, anxious, depressed and overwhelmed by added stress in their personal lives, which is aggravated by our world’s non-stop stress. Jayne O'donnell, USA TODAY, "Empathy is good, but what if you care too much? Dr. Judith Orloff has advice for empaths," 9 Nov. 2019 Opt for the outdoors With more than 2,500 parks, Berlin ranks as one of the world’s greenest capitals. National Geographic, "What did travel have to do with the fall of the Berlin Wall?," 9 Nov. 2019 AirVisual, a monitoring company, reckons that northern India contains 22 of the world’s 30 most toxic cities. The Economist, "India’s toxic smog is a common affliction in middle-income countries," 9 Nov. 2019 This story is part of an ongoing series on how China is reshaping our world. Isabelle Niu, Quartz, "Is WeChat a problem for democracies?," 8 Nov. 2019 The whale remains found among the roughly 100 marine animal bones unearthed at the Cairns constitute one of the world’s largest troves of prehistoric whale bones. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Unearth Hollowed-Out Whale Vertebra Containing Human Jawbone, Remains of Newborn Lambs," 8 Nov. 2019 On the other hand, our world is not built for 8-ft.-tall canaries. Lily Rothman, Time, "'We're All Growing Up Together': As Sesame Street Turns 50, Big Bird Is Still Making Friends Everywhere He Goes," 7 Nov. 2019 The institutions of our world filled the gap: neighbors, friends, and family. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "Kamala Harris Wants to Turn Schools into Day-Care Centers," 7 Nov. 2019 The Bkool Smart Go is a lightweight (22 pounds), portable, magnetic resistance trainer that also happens to be capable of transporting you into your favorite virtual cycling world, thanks to ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart connectivity. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Indoor Trainers for Dedicated Cyclists," 7 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But instead of making China’s case, Beijing’s ham-handed international efforts have largely failed to sway world public opinion. New York Times, "China’s Soft-Power Failure: Condemning Hong Kong’s Protests," 20 Aug. 2019 The Swiss Air Force was left red-faced after its world famous flight demonstration team—the Patrouille Suisse—accidentally performed their routine over the wrong Swiss town. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Oops! Swiss Aerial Acrobatics Team Performs for the Wrong Town," 11 July 2019 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

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

Time Traveler for world

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for world

Last Updated

13 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“World.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worlds. Accessed 9 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for world

world

noun
How to pronounce world (audio)

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

contradictory or incongruous words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!