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English Wikipedia has articles on:


From Middle English world, weoreld, from Old English weorold (world), from Proto-Germanic *weraldiz (lifetime, human existence, world, literally age/era of man), equivalent to wer (man) +‎ eld (age). Cognate with Scots warld (world), Saterland Frisian Waareld (world), West Frisian wrâld (world), Dutch wereld (world), Low German Werld (world), German Welt (world), Norwegian Bokmål verden (world), Norwegian Nynorsk verd (world), Swedish värld (world), Icelandic veröld (the world).



English Wikipedia has an article on:

world (countable and uncountable, plural worlds)

  1. (with "the") Human collective existence; existence in general.
    There will always be lovers, till the world’s end.
    • 1922, Michael Arlen, “Ep./4/2”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days:
      The world was awake to the 2nd of May, but Mayfair is not the world, and even the menials of Mayfair lie long abed. As they turned into Hertford Street they startled a robin from the poet's head on a barren fountain, and he fled away with a cameo note.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 9, in The China Governess[1]:
      Eustace gaped at him in amazement. When his urbanity dropped away from him, as now, he had an innocence of expression which was almost infantile. It was as if the world had never touched him at all.
    • 2013 June 1, “Towards the end of poverty”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8838, page 11:
      America’s poverty line is $63 a day for a family of four. In the richer parts of the emerging world $4 a day is the poverty barrier. But poverty’s scourge is fiercest below $1.25 ([…]): people below that level live lives that are poor, nasty, brutish and short.
  2. The Universe.
  3. (uncountable, with "the") The Earth.
    People are dying of starvation all over the world.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314, page 0045:
      Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes. [] She put back a truant curl from her forehead where it had sought egress to the world, and looked him full in the face now, drawing a deep breath which caused the round of her bosom to lift the lace at her throat.
    • 2013 May-June, William E. Conner, “An Acoustic Arms Race”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 206-7:
      Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close [] above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them. Many insects probably use this strategy, which is a close analogy to crypsis in the visible world—camouflage and other methods for blending into one’s visual background.
    • 2018, VOA Learning English > China's Melting Glacier Brings Visitors, Adds to Climate Concerns
      She says the Third Pole is one of the world’s largest sources of fresh drinking water.
  4. (countable) A planet, especially one which is inhabited or inhabitable.
    Our mission is to travel the galaxy and find new worlds.
    • 1970, Larry Niven, Ringworld, page 118:
      Yet every world should have at least one unclimbable mountain.
    • 2007 September 27, Marc Rayman (interviewee), “NASA's Ion-Drive Asteroid Hunter Lifts Off”, National Public Radio:
      I think many people think of asteroids as kind of little chips of rock. But the places that Dawn is going to really are more like worlds.
    1. (by extension) Any other astronomical body which may be inhabitable, such as a natural satellite.
  5. A very large extent of country.
    the New World
  6. (fiction, speculation) A realm, such as planet, containing one or multiple societies of beings, especially intelligent ones.
    the world of Narnia; the Wizarding World of Harry Potter; a zombie world
  7. An individual or group perspective or social setting.
    In the world of boxing, good diet is all-important.
    Welcome to my world.
    • 2013 June 8, “Obama goes troll-hunting”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 55:
      According to this saga of intellectual-property misanthropy, these creatures [patent trolls] roam the business world, buying up patents and then using them to demand extravagant payouts from companies they accuse of infringing them. Often, their victims pay up rather than face the costs of a legal battle.
  8. (computing) The part of an operating system distributed with the kernel, consisting of the shell and other programs.
  9. (video games) A subdivision of a game, consisting of a series of stages or levels that usually share a similar environment or theme.
    Have you reached the boss at the end of the ice world?
    There's a hidden warp to the next world down this pipe.
  10. (tarot) The twenty-second trump or major arcana card of the tarot.
  11. (informal) A great amount.
    Taking a break from work seems to have done her a world of good.
    You're going to be in a world of trouble when your family finds out.
    That new wallpaper has made a world of difference downstairs.
  12. (archaic) Age, era



Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


world (third-person singular simple present worlds, present participle worlding, simple past and past participle worlded)

  1. To consider or cause to be considered from a global perspective; to consider as a global whole, rather than making or focussing on national or other distinctions; compare globalise.
    • 1996, Jan Jindy Pettman, Worlding Women: A feminist international politics, pages ix-x:
      There are by now many feminisms (Tong, 1989; Humm, 1992). [...] They are in shifting alliance or contest with postmodern critiques, which at times seem to threaten the very category 'women' and its possibilities for a feminist politics. These debates inform this attempt at worlding women—moving beyond white western power centres and their dominant knowledges (compare Spivak, 1985), while recognising that I, as a white settler-state woman, need to attend to differences between women, too.
    • 2005, James Phillips, Heidegger's Volk: Between National Socialism and Poetry, published by Stanford University Press, →ISBN:
      In a sense, the dictatorship was a failure of failure and, on that account, it was perhaps the exemplary system of control. Having in 1933 wagered on the worlding of the world in the regime's failure, Heidegger after the war can only rue his opportunistic hopes for an exposure of the ontological foundations of control.
  2. To make real; to make worldly.

See also[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English woruld, worold, from Proto-Germanic *weraldiz.



world (plural worldes)

  1. The world, the planet (i.e. Earth)
    • a. 1382, John Wycliffe, “John 1:10”, in Wycliffe's Bible:
      He was in the world, and the world was maad bi hym, and the world knew hym not.
      He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world didn't know about him.
  2. A dimension, realm, or existence, especially human existence.
  3. The trappings and features of human life.
    • c. 1340, Dan Michel, “Vridom”, in Ayenbite of Inwyt[2], page 86:
      Ac hy habbeþ hire heꝛten zuo areꝛed ine god: þet hi ne pꝛayſeþ þe woꝛdle: bote ane botoun. and hi ne dredeþ kyng. ne eꝛl. []
      But those who have their hearts inspired by God, who don't praise the world('s ways) even a bit and who don't fear kings, earls, []
  4. The political entities of the world.
  5. The people of the world, especially when judging someone.
  6. An age, era or epoch.
  7. The universe, the totality of existence.


  • English: world
  • Scots: warld