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From umb- (around, about) +‎ world, after German Umwelt (early 19th c.). Compare Dutch omwereld, Swedish omvärld, etc., also from the German.


umbworld (plural umbworlds)

  1. (neologism) The surrounding world; the world or sphere about one; the environment.
    • 2008, Why I Teach « Todd\'s Hammer,
      The reason this is so difficult is because I'm trying to teach them a seemingly contradictory thing: first, the truth is contingent and highly situated and that it emerges out of interaction with the umbworld (the social and cultural environments); but second, that the truth as we know it at any given time is inextricably connected to how we live our lives, especially how we formulate our values and how we act in the world.
    • 2009, Nature and World Cultures, Religious Ritual and Dissociation:
      Religion has grown out of our folk knowledge, out of our group explanations of the how’s and why’s of the umbworld.
    • 2010, Becoming Jewish, Finding Meaning in Evolution…Maybe:
      The meanings we generate can definitely be maladaptive and/or destructive. I think the only thing that has saved Homo sapiens so far is that the mathematical averages have been on our side, so that, so far, the meanings we’ve created have been local and contained. Globalization may indeed give us a broader umbworld where our maladaptive ideas could result in the death of us all.
    • 2010, Further Light and Knowledge, evolutionary benefit of homosexuality?:
      The evolutionary process is far more complex than that (as organisms interact with their umbworld); it is always best to remember to have a parsimonious approach to any and all claims to adaptability or evolutionary function of a trait.