Last modified on 25 November 2014, at 07:35

world

EnglishEdit

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EtymologyEdit

From Middle English world, weoreld, from Old English world, worold, woruld, weorold (world, age, men, humanity, life, way of life, long period of time, cycle, eternity), from Proto-Germanic *weraldiz (lifetime, worldly existence, mankind, age of man, world), 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), Swedish värld (world), Icelandic veröld (the world).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

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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, 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”, 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 1, The Purchase Price:
      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”, 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.
  4. (countable) A planet, especially one which is inhabited or inhabitable.
    Our mission is to travel the galaxy and find new worlds.
    • 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.
  5. An individual or group perspective or social setting.
    In the world of boxing, good diet is all-important.
    • 2013 June 8, “Obama goes troll-hunting”, 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.
  6. (informal) A great amount.
    a world of difference;  a world of trouble;  a world of embarrassment

SynonymsEdit

  • (the earth): Earth, the earth, the globe, Sol III
  • (a planet):
  • (individual or group perspective or social setting): circle

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

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VerbEdit

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-13 978-0804750714:
      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 alsoEdit

StatisticsEdit

AnagramsEdit


Middle EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old English woruld, worold.

NounEdit

world (plural worlds)

  1. world

DescendantsEdit