weight of the world

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

An allusion to the burden borne by Atlas, the mythical Titan who carried the entire world on his shoulders.

Noun[edit]

weight of the world

  1. (idiomatic) The distressing combined burden of the problems, doubts, imperfections, and responsibilities associated with human existence.
    • 1877, R. D. Blackmore, Erema: My Father's Sin, ch. 52:
      The weight of the world is off my mind since I have told you every thing.
    • 1919, P. G. Wodehouse, A Damsel in Distress, ch. 2:
      There was only one thing to be done, return to the hotel, retrieve his money, and try to forget the weight of the world and its cares in lunch.
    • 1999, Frank Pellegrini, "The Kindest Rate Cut," Time (retrieved 3 May 2014):
      With its trade deficits with Asia ballooning and U.S. consumers carrying the weight of the world on their credit cards, Washington felt it was about time somebody else did some importing.
    • 2009 Feb. 10, Tyler Kepner, "Baseball: Rodriguez admits past substance use," New York Times (retrieved 3 May 2014):
      "When I arrived at Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. . . . I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me."

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