Definition of Third World in US English:

Third World


usually the Third World
  • The developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

    ‘levels of literacy have risen in the Third World’
    as modifier ‘measures to reduce Third World debt’
    • ‘This is most obvious in Africa, the only Third World continent to have actually declined.’
    • ‘Many people in the Third World think in the developed world there are no problems.’
    • ‘That is the case with regard to many states in the Third World, especially sub-Saharan Africa.’
    • ‘It is always good to hear from people who are outraged by the suffering of the Third World.’
    • ‘This was not some outback post in the Third World, this was inner city London.’
    • ‘Few people knew more about Africa or the Third World in general than he did.’
    • ‘Of more interest to socialists are the agency's activities in the Third World.’
    • ‘They are presently in a very weak position, morally and politically, on the issue of Third World debt.’
    • ‘He called on Winchester to cut its ties and develop twinning arrangements with towns in the Third World.’
    • ‘Let that money be used to save the lives of people across the Third World.’
    • ‘Mike's account of Western capitalism had its corollary in his view of what was happening in the Third World.’
    • ‘When the leaders of the most powerful countries meet, they often talk of the poverty of the Third World.’
    • ‘The global market took the feeding tube out of the Third World a long time ago.’
    • ‘Poverty has widely been regarded as characterizing the Third World, and it has a gendered face.’
    • ‘Instead of focusing on the needs of the poor in the Third World they enforce the writ of western corporations.’
    • ‘It is really important to take every opportunity to develop links with activists in the Third World.’
    • ‘The Green Party would be open to trade rules that actually do help people in the Third World.’
    • ‘The result of free trade policies is the rise of food prices in the Third World.’
    • ‘The band support campaigns against Third World debt and in defence of asylum seekers.’
    • ‘This has since burgeoned so that the Union provides aid for countries throughout the Third World.’


First applied in the 1950s by French commentators who used tiers monde to distinguish the developing countries from the capitalist and Communist blocs.


Third World

/ˈˌTHərd ˈwərld//ˈˌθərd ˈwərld/