world - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1

    the world

    the planet that we live on

    We observe changes in the world’s climate.

  2. 2
    [singular] society in general, in all countries

    We want to guarantee our children a safer world.

    all over the world/throughout the world:

    The same problems are faced by children throughout the world.

    the whole world:

    The terrorists pose a threat to the whole world.

    1. a.
      [only before noun] involving or affecting all countries

      She’s won medals at three previous world championships.

      the world economy

      a world war

    2. b.
      used about ordinary society and its moral values, rather than religious or spiritual matters

      It was a choice between the world and God.

    3. c.
      if someone moves up or down in the world, they move to a higher or lower social class
      go up in the world:

      She’s gone up in the world, by marrying into money.

      go/come down in the world:

      If you’re used to driving the newer models, you may feel that you’ve come down in the world.

  3. 3
    [singular] a particular group of countries

    It is the oldest institution in the English-speaking world.

    This disease is increasing dramatically in the western world (=the countries of western Europe and North America).

    1. a.
      [singular] used about a particular society at a particular time in history

      This library was one of the wonders of the Ancient World.

       Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      [usually singular] used about the particular type of place or situation in which someone lives or works

      the entertainment world

      the world of work

      Children feel powerful in the world of imagination that they create.

       Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    [singular] mainly literary the state of being alive
    bring a child into the world:

    I wouldn’t want to bring a child into this cruel world.

    come into the world (=be born):

    Thousands of babies come into the world every day.

    leave/depart this world (=die) literary:

    There’s something I want to do before I depart this world.