Meaning of WORLD in English

I. ˈwərld, esp before pause or consonant -rəld; ˈwə̄ld noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English weorld, world, from Old English weoruld, woruld, worold human existence, this world, age; akin to Old High German weralt, worolt age, world, Old Norse veröld; all from a prehistoric West Germanic-North Germanic compound whose first constituent is represented by Old English wer man and whose second constituent is akin to Old English yldo age, ald old — more at virile , old


a. : the earthly state of human existence : this present life

b. : a future state of existence : the life after death — usually used with a qualifier

a better world where he expected to meet all … who had gone before him — Van Wyck Brooks

the next world


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

a Great Spirit who rules the world — F.J.Haskin

a voyage around the world

b. : something (as a sphere or whole) held to resemble or suggest the world

3. : individual experience of or concern with life on earth : the sum of the affairs which affect the individual : course of life : career

I hope the world goes well with you

4. : all the inhabitants of the earth : the whole of mankind : the human race : human society

the whole world was redeemed by Christ — H.P.Liddon

5. : the concerns of the earth and its affairs as distinguished from heaven : the pursuits and interests of this life as distinguished from the life to come : the present existence and its interests : temporal or mundane affairs

I too love the earth and hate the world — George Santayana

6. : secular affairs or interests as distinguished from religious or clerical

7. : the earth and the heavens : the entire universe as an orderly system : the system of created things

8. : a part of the universe constituting a distinct entity and usually possessing one or more peculiar and identifying characteristics

the lower world

— see netherworld , underworld

9. : the section of mankind engrossed in the concerns or pleasures of this present life and as a result often held to constitute the ungodly part of mankind : worldly persons


a. : a particular division, section, or generation of the inhabitants of the earth distinguished by living together at the same place or at the same time


(1) : a more or less definite class or division of persons distinguished by some usually specified characteristic (as interests or occupation)

insistence upon a more complete devotion from the performing and listening worlds — J.N.Burk

(2) : the sphere, domain, region, or realm of the interests of a particular group of persons

my experiences in the academic world — Hans Meyerhoff

the world of American history

11. : human society : the scene of the customs, practices, and interests of men as social beings : public or social affairs and occupations : social or business life, manners, and usages

voices which we hear in solitude … grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world — R.W.Emerson

12. : a period or age of human history having certain peculiar and identifying characteristics

the world of the 19th century

13. : a part, division, or section of the earth together with its inhabitants and concerns that is a separate independent unit : a division of the globe with its inhabitants : a part of the globe as known or contemplated at a particular period or by a particular people — see new world , old world

14. : the sphere or scene of one's life and action : the area of one's interests and activities : the realm in which one moves or lives

among the friends of his three worlds, the intellectuals, the … family circle, and the farmers — H.S.Canby

15. : an indefinitely great multitude or quantity : a large number : an infinite or vast amount

there were worlds of cattle in Texas — E.C.Abbott & Helena Smith

you will find a world of delight in some of the lovely pieces — Irish Digest

— sometimes used adverbially with a or in plural

a world too wide

his vernacular was worlds away from her formal art — Carl Van Doren


a. : the whole body of living persons : people in general : society at large : public

b. : the people of a particular district or area in general : local society

17. : world's people

18. : a group of beings or things having certain characteristics in common and held to constitute a whole

19. : one of the grand divisions or primary groups of natural objects : kingdom 6

animal world

inorganic world

20. : a planet or other celestial body ; especially : one that is inhabited and the scene of interests analogous to those of earth dwellers

21. : an area of the hand or fingers held by palmists to represent mind in the case of the upper division or material matters in the case of the middle division or sensual or base qualities in the case of the lower division:

a. : an area of a finger constituted by a phalanx or of the thumb constituted by a phalanx or the Mount of Venus

the three worlds of palmistry apply just as much to the thumb as to any of the fingers — W.G.Benham

b. : a division of the hand constituted by the fingers or by the area between the base of the fingers and the middle of the palm or by the area between the middle of the palm and the wrist

- against the world

- for worlds

- in the world

- out of this world

II. adjective

1. : of or relating to the world

a world hypothesis

a world championship


a. : extending or found throughout the world : universal , worldwide

world affairs

world problems

a world language

world culture

b. : involving or applying to the whole world

world government

a world state

world politics

c. : known and usually renowned throughout the world

world figures

a world artist

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.