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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English wildernesse, wyldernys, of uncertain formation. Perhaps from Middle English wildern (wilderness) +‎ -ness; or from unattested Old English *wilddēornes; or from Old English wilddēoren (wild, savage) + -nes (-ness).

Compare Middle Dutch wildernisse ("wilderness"; > modern Dutch wildernis), German Wildnis (wilderness). Compare also Old English wilder, wildor (wild beast).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

wilderness (countable and uncountable, plural wildernesses)

  1. An unsettled and uncultivated tract of land left in its natural state.

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