multiverse

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

multi + universe, coined by William James.

Noun[edit]

multiverse (plural multiverses)

  1. (philosophy) The world, considered as lacking in purpose, design, or predictability.
    • 1895 October, William James, “Is Life Worth Living?”, International Journal of Ethics, page 10: 
      Visible nature is all plasticity and indifference, a multiverse, as one might call it, and not a universe.
    • 1953, Saul Bellow, chapter 6, The Adventures of Augie March, Viking Press:
      I've never gone through a place like Racine without thinking which house with the rubber-tire swing for kids and piano-practicing inside was like Stiva Lausch's, who had two daughters brought up with every refinement, including piano lessons, and how such little-speaking Odessa-bred sons had gotten on a track like this through the multiverse.
  2. (physics, cosmology) The hypothetical group of all the possible universes in existence.
    Our universe is a very small part of the multiverse.

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