World Wide Web

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From worldwide + web, coined by English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee (born 1955) and Belgian informatics engineer and computer scientist Robert Cailliau (born 1947) in a paper published on 12 November 1990: see the quotation.[1]


Proper noun[edit]

World Wide Web

  1. (Internet) Usually preceded by the: collectively, all of the hypertext documents (web pages) on the Internet stored in different computers around the world that hyperlink to each other and to other kinds of media, and are typically retrieved by the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).
    Synonyms: Web, web, W3, WWW
    • [1990 November 12, Tim Berners-Lee; Robert Cailliau, “WorldWideWeb: Proposal for a HyperText Project”, in World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)[1], archived from the original on 10 November 2020:
      WorldWideWeb: Proposal for a HyperText Project [title] [] Having a world wide web implies some solutions must be found for problems such as different access protocols and different node content formats. These issues are addressed by our proposal.]
    • 1993 February 28, John Markoff, “A web of networks, an abundance of services”, in The New York Times[2], New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 9 November 2020, page 8:
      Additionally, gateways exist so that WAIS users can retrieve information from non-WAIS data bases like Gopher, developed by university users of Next computers, and the World Wide Web, which makes available physicists' research from many locations.
    • 2000, Jodi Dean, “Webs of Conspiracy”, in Andrew Herman and Thomas Swiss, editors, The World Wide Web and Contemporary Cultural Theory, New York, N.Y.; Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge, →ISBN, page 63:
      Anxiety about the World Wide Web tends to center on its excesses, on the overabundance of information, the overstimulation of graphics and gimmicks, the multiplicity of links.
    • 2003, Julian S. Millstein; Jeffrey D. Neuburger; Jeffrey P. Weingart, “Introduction to the Internet”, in Doing Business on the Internet (Intellectual Property Law Series), New York, N.Y.: Law Journal Press, →ISBN, § 1.03 (The World Wide Web), page 1-6.4:
      Although the Internet has long been used to communicate a wealth of information, it was the rise of the World Wide Web, beginning in 1994, that led to the Internet's most rapid growth and acceptance as a medium of commerce. The Web can be thought of as the Internet's popular "multimedia" segment and is a primary platform for electronic commerce.
    • 2008, Rajendra Akerkar; Pawan Lingras, “Introduction to Web Intelligence”, in Building an Intelligent Web: Theory and Practice, Sudbury, Mass.: Jones & Bartlett Publishers, →ISBN, section 1.1 (Historical Perspective), page 1:
      Consider for a moment that the Internet is about 40 years old, the microelectronics explosion happened only 30 years ago, the desktop computer appeared only about 25 years ago, the World Wide Web is really only a little more than a decade old, and that ubiquitous wireless Internet access is only now becoming a reality. Despite only relatively recent developmental history, we are facing an information explosion on the World Wide Web, making it necessary to build a better Web—an Intelligent Web—that will help users easily realize their information and communication needs.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Although worldwide is a single word (also in the form world-wide), World Wide Web is spelt as three separate words.
  • World Wide Web, Web, and web are sometimes loosely used to refer to the entire Internet, but they are differentiated in precise usage: the Internet includes further non-Web systems such as email (SMTP) and file transfer (BitTorrent, FTP, etc.).

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ World Wide Web, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2001; “World Wide Web, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading[edit]