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world - definition and synonyms


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noun world pronunciation in American English /wɜrld/
Word Forms
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  1. 1

    the world

    the planet that we live on
    We observe changes in the world’s climate.
    1. a.
      [countable] any other planet
      creatures from alien worlds
  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 won medals at three previous world championships.
      the world economy
      a world war
    2. c.
      if someone moves up or down in the world, they move to a higher or lower social class
      move/come/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
      Attitudes toward death were very different in the Egyptian world.
      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.
      We see the characters as equal although they are each from very different worlds.
  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.



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