American English

Definition of world noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    world

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//wərld//
     
     
    jump to other results
    the earth/its people
  1. 1the world [singular] the earth, with all its countries, peoples, and natural features to sail around the world traveling (all over) the world a map of the world French is spoken in many parts of the world. Which is the largest city in the world? He's the world's highest paid entertainer. a meeting of world leaders campaigning for world peace
  2. 2[countable, usually singular] a particular part of the earth; a particular group of countries or people; a particular period of history and the people of that period the Arab world the English-speaking world the industrialized and developing worlds the ancient/modern world see also the First World, the New World, the Old World, the Third World
  3. another planet
  4. 3[countable] a planet like the earth There may be other worlds out there.
  5. type of life
  6. 4[countable] the people or things belonging to a particular group or connected with a particular interest, job, etc. the animal/plant/insect world the world of fashion stars from the sporting and artistic worlds
  7. 5[usually singular] (usually used with an adjective) everything that exists of a particular kind; a particular kind of life or existence the natural world (= animals, plants, minerals, etc.) They are a couple in the real world as well as in the movie. The island is a world of brilliant colors and dramatic sunsets. They had little contact with the outside world (= people and places that were not part of their normal life).
  8. person's life
  9. 6[singular] a person's environment, experiences, friends and family, etc. Parents are the most important people in a child's world. When his wife died, his entire world was turned upside down.
  10. society
  11. 7[singular] our society and the way people live and behave; the people in the world We live in a rapidly changing world. He's too young to understand the ways of the world. The whole world was waiting for news of the astronauts. She felt that the world was against her. The eyes of the world are on the president.
  12. 8 the world [singular] a way of life where possessions and physical pleasures are important, rather than spiritual values monks and nuns renouncing the world see also old-world
  13. human existence
  14. 9[singular] the state of human existence this world and the next (= life on earth and existence after death)
  15. Idioms
    be lost to the world
     
    jump to other results
    to be giving all your attention to something so that you do not notice what is happening around you When he's listening to music he's lost to the world.
    the best of both/all possible worlds
     
    jump to other results
    the benefits of two or more completely different situations that you can enjoy at the same time If you enjoy the coast and the country, you'll get the best of both worlds on this walk.
    be worlds apart
     
    jump to other results
    to be completely different in attitudes, opinions, etc.
    (a) brave new world
     
    jump to other results
    a situation or society that changes in a way that is meant to improve people's lives but is often a source of extra problems the brave new world of technology
    come/go down/up in the world
     
    jump to other results
    to become less/more important or successful in society
    come into the world (literary)
     
    jump to other results
    to be born
    dead to the world
     
    jump to other results
    fast asleep
    do somebody/something a world of good
     
    jump to other results
    to make someone feel much better; to improve something A change of job would do you a world of good.
    for all the world as if/though…, for all the world like somebody/something (formal)
     
    jump to other results
    exactly as if…; exactly like someone or something She behaved for all the world as if nothing unusual had happened. He looked for all the world like a cat that just ate a bird.
    have the world at your feet
     
    jump to other results
    to be very successful and admired
    how, why, etc. in the world (informal)
     
    jump to other results
    used to emphasize something and to show that you are surprised or annoyed What in the world did they think they were doing?
    in an ideal/a perfect world
     
    jump to other results
    used to say that something is what you would like to happen or what should happen, but you know it cannot In an ideal world we would be recycling and reusing everything.
    in the world
     
    jump to other results
    used to emphasize what you are saying There's nothing in the world I'd like more than to visit New York. Don't rush—we've got all the time in the world. You look as if you haven't got a care in the world!
    (be/live) in a world of your own
     
    jump to other results
    if you are in a world of your own, you are so concerned with your own thoughts that you do not notice what is happening around you
    it's a small world (saying)
     
    jump to other results
    used to express your surprise when you meet someone you know in an unexpected place, or when you are talking to someone and find out that you both know the same person
    a man/woman of the world
     
    jump to other results
    a person with a lot of experience of life, who is not easily surprised or shocked
    mean the world to somebody
     
    jump to other results
    to be loved by and very important to someone
    not the end of the world (informal)
     
    jump to other results
    not the worst thing that could happen to someone Failing one exam is not the end of the world.
    not for (all) the world
     
    jump to other results
    used to say that you would never do something I wouldn't hurt you — not for all the world.
    the… of this world (informal)
     
    jump to other results
    used to refer to people of a particular type We all envy the Bill Gateses of this world (= the people who are as rich and successful as Bill Gates).
    on top of the world
     
    jump to other results
    very happy or proud
    out of this world (informal)
     
    jump to other results
    used to emphasize how good, beautiful, etc. something is That meal was out of this world.
    promise (somebody) the earth/moon/world (informal)
     
    jump to other results
    to make promises that will be impossible to keep Politicians promise the earth before an election, but things are different afterward.
    see the world
     
    jump to other results
    to travel widely and gain wide experience
    set the world on fire (informal)
     
    jump to other results
    (usually used in negative sentences) to be very successful and gain the admiration of other people He's never going to set the world on fire with his paintings.
    watch the world go by
     
    jump to other results
    to relax and watch people in a public place We sat outside a café, watching the world go by.
    the way of the world
     
    jump to other results
    the way that most people behave; the way that things happen, which you cannot change The rich and powerful make the decisions—that's the way of the world.
    what is the world coming to?
     
    jump to other results
    used to express disapproval, surprise, or shock, especially at changes in people's attitudes or behavior When I listen to the news these days, I sometimes wonder what the world is coming to.
    work your way through college, around the world, etc.
     
    jump to other results
    to have a job or series of jobs while studying, traveling, etc. in order to pay for your education, etc.
    a world away (from something)
     
    jump to other results
    used to emphasize how different two things are His new luxury mansion was a world away from the tiny house where he was born.
    the world is your oyster
     
    jump to other results
    there is no limit to the opportunities open to you With talent like that, the world is her oyster.
    a world of difference (informal)
     
    jump to other results
    used to emphasize how much difference there is between two things There's a world of difference between liking someone and loving them.
    the (whole) world over
     
    jump to other results
    everywhere in the world People are basically the same the world over.
    the worst of all (possible) worlds
     
    jump to other results
    all the disadvantages of every situation
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: world