- the earth or globe, considered as a planet.
- (often initial capital letter) a particular division of the earth: the Western world.
- the earth or a part of it, with its inhabitants, affairs, etc., during a particular period: the ancient world.
- humankind; the human race; humanity: The world must eliminate war and poverty.
- the public generally: The whole world knows it.
- the class of persons devoted to the affairs, interests, or pursuits of this life: The world worships success.
- a particular class of people, with common interests, aims, etc.: the fashionable world.
- any sphere, realm, or domain, with all pertaining to it: a child’s world; the world of dreams; the insect world.
- everything that exists; the universe; the macrocosm.
- any complex whole conceived as resembling the universe: the world of the microcosm.
- one of the three general groupings of physical nature: animal world; mineral world; vegetable world.
- any period, state, or sphere of existence: this world; the world to come.
- Often worlds. a great deal: That vacation was worlds of fun.
- any indefinitely great expanse.
- any heavenly body: the starry worlds.
- bring into the world,
- to give birth to; bear: My grandmother brought nine children into the world.
- to deliver (a baby): the doctor brought many children into the world.
- come into the world, to be born: Her first child came into the world in June.
- for all the world,
- for any consideration, however great: She wouldn’t come to visit us for all the world.
- in every respect; precisely: You look for all the world like my Aunt Mary.
- in the world,
- at all; ever: I never in the world would have believed such an obvious lie.
- from among all possibilities: Where in the world did you find that hat?
- on top of the world. .
- out of this/the world, exceptional; fine: The chef prepared a roast duck that was out of this world.
- set the world on fire, to achieve great fame and success: He didn’t seem to be the type to set the world on fire.
- think the world of, to like or admire greatly: His coworkers think the world of him.
- world without end, for all eternity; for always.
- the earth as a planet, esp including its inhabitants
- mankind; the human race
- people generally; the publicin the eyes of the world
- social or public lifeto go out into the world
- the universe or cosmos; everything in existence
- a complex united whole regarded as resembling the universe
- any star or planet, esp one that might be inhabited
- (often capital) a division or section of the earth, its history, or its inhabitantsthe Western World; the Ancient World; the Third World
- an area, sphere, or realm considered as a complete environmentthe animal world
- any field of human activity or way of life or those involved in itthe world of television
- a period or state of existencethe next world
- the total circumstances and experience of an individual that make up his life, esp that part of it relating to happinessyou have shattered my world
- a large amount, number, or distanceworlds apart
- worldly or secular life, ways, or people
- logic See
- all the world and his wife a large group of people of various kinds
- bring into the world
- (of a midwife, doctor, etc) to deliver (a baby)
- to give birth to
- come into the world to be born
- dead to the world informal unaware of one’s surroundings, esp fast asleep or very drunk
- for the world (used with a negative) for any inducement, however great
- for all the world in every way; exactly
- give to the world to publish
- in the world (usually used with a negative) (intensifier)no-one in the world can change things
- man of the world or woman of the world a man or woman experienced in social or public life
- not long for this world nearing death
- on top of the world informal exultant, elated, or very happy
- informal wonderful; excellent
- set the world on fire to be exceptionally or sensationally successful
- the best of both worlds the benefits from two different or opposed ways of life, philosophies, etc
- think the world of to be extremely fond of or hold in very high esteem
- world of one’s own a state of mental detachment from other people
- world without end for ever
- (modifier) of or concerning most or all countries; worldwideworld politics; a world record
- (in combination) throughout the worldworld-famous
noun The World
- a man-made archipelago of 300 reclaimed islands built off the coast of Dubai in the shape of a map of the world. Area: 63 sq km (24 sq miles)
Old English woruld, worold “human existence, the affairs of life,” also “the human race, mankind,” a word peculiar to Germanic languages (cf. Old Saxon werold, Old Frisian warld, Dutch wereld, Old Norse verold, Old High German weralt, German Welt), with a literal sense of “age of man,” from Proto-Germanic *wer “man” (Old English wer, still in werewolf; see ) + *ald “age” (see ).
Originally “life on earth, this world (as opposed to the afterlife),” sense extended to “the known world,” then to “the physical world in the broadest sense, the universe” (c.1200). In Old English gospels, the commonest word for “the physical world,” was Middangeard (Old Norse Midgard), literally “the middle enclosure” (cf. yard), which is rooted in Germanic cosmology. Greek kosmos in its ecclesiastical sense of “world of people” sometimes was rendered in Gothic as manaseþs, literally “seed of man.”
The usual Old Norse word was heimr, literally “abode” (see home). Words for “world” in some other Indo-European languages derive from the root for “bottom, foundation” (e.g. Irish domun, Old Church Slavonic duno, related to English deep); the Lithuanian word is pasaulis, from pa- “under” + saule “sun.” Original sense in world without end, translating Latin saecula saeculorum, and in . Latin saeculum can mean both “age” and “world,” as can Greek aion. World power in the geopolitical sense first recorded 1900. World-class is attested from 1950, originally of Olympic athletes.
In all respects, precisely, as in She looked for all the world like Greta Garbo. [Late 1300s]
Also, not for the world. Not for anything, not at any price. For example, I wouldn’t give up chocolate for all the world, or Not for the world would I reveal your secret. This hyperbolic expression is generally part of a negative statement. [First half of 1800s] For a synonym, see not for love or money.
In addition to the idioms beginning with world
- world is one’s oyster, the
- world of good, a
- all over the place (world)
- best of both worlds
- bring into the world
- come up (in the world)
- dead to the world
- for all the world
- go out (of the world)
- in one’s own world
- it’s a small world
- laugh and the world laughs with you
- man of the world
- move up (in the world)
- not for all the tea in china (for the world)
- on earth (in the world), what
- on top of the world
- out of this world
- set the world on fire
- think a lot (the world) of
- third world
- with the best will in the world