Definition of world in English:

world

noun

  • 1usually the worldThe earth, together with all of its countries and peoples.

    ‘he was doing his bit to save the world’
    ‘it's a wonderful world’
    • ‘Today, I spent my whole day meeting with the representatives from all over the world.’
    • ‘The couple travelled the world together three years ago and fell in love with Asia.’
    • ‘Annually millions of Canadians travel to other nations all over the world for a whole variety of reasons.’
    • ‘The students come from all over the world, a wonderful combination of people.’
    • ‘Before they rush out to say that they want to save the world - how about themselves?’
    • ‘It is truly wonderful to have a whole lot of girl-friends living in various parts of the world.’
    • ‘What is astonishing is how little our cartographic concept of the world has changed since then.’
    • ‘Oliver is hoping to climb his way into the history books by planting a flag at the summit of the world's tallest mountain.’
    • ‘Some may argue that we should look after our own before we go off trying to save the world.’
    • ‘Not all of these acts proved to be that useful later on, but it gave you the feeling you did your bit to save the world.’
    • ‘He admits the prospect of seven days cycling over some of the world's most inhospitable terrain is a bit daunting.’
    • ‘The sea connotes what the land is not, yet together they form the world's surfaces.’
    • ‘Soils, such as podzols, which are zonal in some parts of the world might be intrazonal in other areas.’
    • ‘I thank them for going and sharing some time in that wonderful part of the world.’
    • ‘They've sold three million albums, toured all over the world and have been together for almost a decade.’
    • ‘Using your bike for errands is a great way to do your little part to save the world.’
    • ‘Today we see a vast new working class brought together in great conurbations across the world.’
    • ‘However, only they can choose what to do and they have all chosen to try and save the world they live in.’
    • ‘The Himalayas is the highest and one of the most beautiful mountain ranges of the world.’
    • ‘There are many mountain ranges throughout the world, all of various ages and sizes.’
    earth, globe, planet, sphere
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1the world All of the people and societies on the earth.
      ‘the whole world hates a Monday’
      • ‘On a more serious note, it would appear that the world as a whole is sinking deeper into poverty.’
      • ‘I want to prove to myself and to the world that my life is whole again.’
      • ‘Africa cannot jump into a world market economy as quickly as it wants.’
      • ‘These children need to know that their stories are important to the world outside.’
      • ‘Yet the financial crisis has been so severe that its impact has disturbed the world economy as a whole.’
      • ‘It's a nice thought that there's someone who loves you, even when you think the whole world hates you.’
      • ‘On the contrary, the world economy as a whole is marked by slow growth and outright stagnation.’
      • ‘She stayed there for hours, crying for her brother, and hating the world for taking him away.’
      • ‘The fall in European growth rates has implications for the world economy as a whole.’
      • ‘To be a man you have to be a businessman who faces the world by himself and who has to fight the whole world by himself.’
      • ‘We truly are entering one of the most important times in world history.’
      • ‘Sovereignty still remains a supremely important institution of world politics.’
      • ‘He never felt love and because of that, hated the world and the world hated him in return.’
      • ‘For all their failings, journalists serve the societies they live in and the world at large.’
      • ‘Am I first a woman and then a member of my society, community, world, or vice versa?’
      • ‘He hung a map of the world on the wall in his little cottage, and he read as widely as he could about world affairs.’
      • ‘The collapse of the world economy was felt hardest amongst the working classes of the North East.’
      • ‘Let her go abroad and tell the world how primitive is the structure of our society.’
      • ‘There are, of course, major differences between the European Union and the world as a whole.’
      • ‘They sometimes wonder why the rest of the world hates them so much.’
      everyone, everybody, each and every one, people, mankind, humankind, humanity, people everywhere, the whole world, the world at large, the public, the general public, the population, the populace, all and sundry, every mother's son, every tom, dick, and harry, every man jack
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2as modifier Denoting one of the most important people or things of their class.
      ‘a world superstar’
      • ‘The fun run set the world record for the largest gathering of Santas in one place.’
      • ‘It is the group's strategy to become one of the world leaders in the textile industry, he said.’
      • ‘My gut feeling is that the world champions will have to fight very hard to maintain their winning streak in Edinburgh.’
      • ‘He had his first race just two days after his sixth birthday at the world championship track near Swindon.’
      • ‘I hope I can go as far as reaching the world number one, but I realize it requires hard work.’
      • ‘And the world number one gave one journalist short shrift when asked what was wrong with his game.’
      • ‘He became the biggest superstar of world rugby, but he is an understated hero.’
      • ‘The squad fly out on Friday, with less than 24 hours to settle in before meeting the world champions.’
      • ‘Ireland could be the world leader in online tourism within the next two years.’
      • ‘He's the world knife-throwing champion - and he's about to throw those knives at me.’
      • ‘After the day of British champions comes an evening for world superstars.’
      • ‘There are tournaments to play that move you up the world rankings and that's more important now.’
      • ‘Las Vegas, said Ashley, was the perfect setting for the world powerlifting championships.’
      • ‘He will take it on the chin and be back at the Crucible where I think he has at least another three or four chances to win back the world title.’
      • ‘All schools that took part will receive a certificate confirming their success in winning the world record.’
      • ‘Afterwards, the world number one was distinctly underwhelmed with the outcome.’
      • ‘He went to the Olympic Games as the world number one intending only to return with the gold medal, but it was not to be.’
      • ‘They are the world champions and a class side, but if they are not quite on their game, that is when you can get at them.’
      • ‘In the world championship final in Paris she was left standing by a 67-second lap.’
      • ‘Imagine how exciting it was to watch this British athlete set a world record and beat a world superstar.’
    3. 1.3 Another planet like the earth.
      ‘the possibility of life on other worlds’
      • ‘It showed the planets as worlds - some greater, some less, than our earth - but all much vaster than the earth as she had been regarded in ancient times.’
      • ‘Astronomers had initially expected that other solar systems would follow the pattern of our own: small rocky worlds close to the star and gas giants further out.’
      • ‘But the main purpose of this spacecraft will be to carry astronauts beyond our orbit to other worlds.’
      • ‘We might instead settle worlds without life, such as Earth's Moon or the asteroids.’
      • ‘The research may eventually be applied to remove radiation belts around the Earth and other worlds, reducing the hazards of the space environment.’
      • ‘It is quite likely that future interstellar explorers will have a wide range of new worlds to explore.’
      • ‘Astronomers are finding new worlds by the dozen - settling one ancient debate and sparking a multitude of others.’
      • ‘For one thing, astronomers discovered the Kuiper belt, a teeming ensemble of miniature worlds within which Pluto orbits.’
      • ‘There has been an explosion in the number of astronomers scanning the skies for the telltale wobble of distant worlds.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, of all the worlds in our solar system, Mars is most like Earth.’
      • ‘At the beginning of the twenty-first century, people are excited by the prospect of visiting new worlds in outer space.’
      • ‘But telepresence has been used primarily to explore other worlds.’
      • ‘Someday solar sails might be used to send astronauts to new worlds around other stars.’
      • ‘His ideas on cosmology are quite remarkable for he not only argued for a moving Earth, but he also argued for an infinite universe containing other stars like the Sun and other worlds like the Earth.’
      • ‘Intriguingly, this class of worlds includes the Martian moons, from which fully reversible Mars missions could ultimately be staged.’
      • ‘A new computer model designed to explore the range of possibilities for planet formation around other stars had no trouble coming up with worlds similar to Earth.’
      • ‘The asteroids are tiny worlds that should have clumped together to form another major planet.’
      • ‘For centuries humanity had dreamed of reaching out to the stars, settling on worlds beyond our solar system.’
      • ‘By studying alien worlds, such as Venus, Mars or Saturn's moon Titan, we can place our own world in context.’
      • ‘Now, what we don't know is how many of those Earth size worlds actually have liquid water that could cook up life or will have cooked up life.’
      planet, satellite, moon, star, heavenly body, orb
      View synonyms
  • 2A particular region or group of countries.

    ‘the English-speaking world’
    • ‘But in the developed, Western world, the feasting periods are no longer interspersed with famines.’
    • ‘By the western part of the Arabic world we mean the regions comprising mainly North Africa and Spain.’
    • ‘Rather different number systems were used simultaneously in the Arabic world over a long period of time.’
    • ‘The richest country in the industrialised world will continue to have some of the worst pockets of poverty.’
    • ‘The range of swear words in the modern English-speaking world is tiny, as you know.’
    • ‘The issue has echoes of the Arab world's historical struggle to assert its own destiny.’
    • ‘Secondly, not all of the developed western world might be seen as civilised.’
    • ‘Several countries in the developing world continue to invite him to help train their own surgeons.’
    • ‘Have you ever seen an Arab world as divided as it is right now?’
    • ‘Yet those of us lucky enough to live in the developed world do not need to cope with such problems.’
    • ‘Croatia is actually located in Central Europe, but it has bridged the Eastern and Western worlds throughout its history.’
    • ‘It's one of the most outrageous breaches of human rights in the history of the western world.’
    • ‘In many parts of the Western world the media still describe this as the only safe route to peace and stability.’
    • ‘Eastern religions are popular across the entire Western world at this time, especially Buddhism, and especially in America.’
    1. 2.1 A particular period of history.
      ‘the ancient world’
      • ‘They are now, rightly, seen as an essential element in a proper understanding of the medieval world-view, important to anyone with an interest in the art, literature, philosophy and social structure of that time.’
      • ‘In the ancient and classical worlds, capital tended to be drawn into cities from the surrounding regions, so that they could become wealthier even in the absence of economic growth.’
      • ‘As the title suggests, Ferguson believes that the British Empire shaped the modern world.’
      • ‘I sometimes imagine that I see certain parallels between modern Aotearoa and the historical worlds of that other boot-shaped nation, Italy.’
      • ‘Though we think of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World as a single list today, there were actually a number of lists compiled by different Greek writers.’
    2. 2.2 A particular group of living things.
      ‘the animal world’
      • ‘Lying is one of the most human of traits that really distinguishes us from the rest of the animal world.’
      • ‘This phenomenon is widespread, occurring in nearly all the major taxa of the plant, animal, and microbial worlds.’
      • ‘Insects are some of the least understood creatures in the animal world.’
      • ‘She is equally trapped between animal and human worlds.’
      • ‘Our folklore and arts and crafts reflect our love and reverence for the animal world.’
      • ‘But first, they must learn the rules of both the animal and the human worlds.’
      • ‘He is seated on a tiger skin, a symbol of power, showing his mastery over the animal world.’
      • ‘The mineral, vegetable, and animal worlds do exactly what they're created to do.’
      • ‘For the next three decades Eva will be the communicator-the connection between the animal and human worlds.’
      • ‘There is a close relationship in Scripture between the animal world and the demonic.’
      • ‘There is no boundary between the vegetable, animal and human worlds.’
      • ‘On examination, it reveals a coded significance, uniting the worlds of animals, birds, humans and demigods, proposing itself as an image of the universe.’
      • ‘Either way, the switch of identities between the human, sacred and animal worlds is a feature of Mongolian belief as it is in countless other folk religions.’
      • ‘The tiger's immense power and strength give it an aura unmatched in the animal world.’
      • ‘Many of these directly incorporate works of art - the art of the wheelchair bound Horibe, whose paintings meld the plant and animal worlds.’
      • ‘The presenter uses amusing approaches to introduce children to the animal world.’
      • ‘She borrows it from the animal world and evokes or invokes it on the subject of procreation.’
      • ‘Then she takes that a step further by pretty much banning any human interference in the animal world.’
      • ‘He expected to find similarities in structure within each branch of the animal world.’
      • ‘There also seems to be little evidence of genuine teaching in the animal world.’
    3. 2.3 All that relates to a particular sphere of activity.
      ‘they were a legend in the world of British theatre’
      ‘the news shocked the football world’
      • ‘A new form of art had come about quite naturally, yet its presence took the art world by storm.’
      • ‘So he pursued his dream, by entering the theatre world and then going on to the big screen.’
      • ‘Yet in the unsentimental world of modern football, it could just happen.’
      • ‘It happens in the football world but it's one of those things you keep quiet about.’
      • ‘The world of football is small, and once you deal with a manager, club or a player, relations develop.’
      • ‘He is easily transported back to his playing days and into a football world vastly different from today's.’
      • ‘Beaufort inhabited the scientific world dominated by the chronometer invented by John Harrison.’
      • ‘Ken, whose background is in media and publishing in the commercial and academic worlds, now employs three full-time staff and a number of part-time staff.’
      • ‘He still characterises himself as having a foot in both the stand-up and theatre worlds and is currently working with Murphy on putative comic projects.’
      • ‘He decided the theatre world was a good place to trawl not only for people with money but also for girls.’
      • ‘The paintings of a Mancunian former teacher have taken the art world by storm after years of obscurity.’
      • ‘The theatre world found this extremely amusing, although the actor reputedly did not.’
      • ‘The award-winning film composer has struck a chord in the worlds of film, theatre, classical and pop.’
      • ‘It's only a matter of time before he is forced to leave his boyhood club and has the football world at his feet.’
      • ‘The new company will represent talent from the worlds of theatre, film, television and literature in Scotland.’
      • ‘They're all hot, contemporary artists who are taking the art world by storm.’
      • ‘The insular world of the theatre is more commonly a sanctuary from reality.’
      • ‘In his biography, he comes across as a person comfortably astride various worlds: theatre, painting, books and film.’
      • ‘He said the bid could eventually include people from ‘the worlds of football and motorsport’, but said he was unable to give details.’
      • ‘Someone from outside will have a different experience of the football world.’
      sphere, society, circle, arena, milieu, province, domain, territory, orbit, preserve, realm, field, discipline, area, department, sector, section, group, division
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4one's world One's life and activities.
      ‘he felt his whole world had collapsed’
      • ‘It came as such a shock, and our worlds literally fell in.’
      • ‘My whole world has fallen apart and left me feeling hopeless and depressed.’
      • ‘She's the center of his whole world.’
      • ‘This is my small world and the reality of living with chronic illness.’
      • ‘She drove slowly because the sudden collapse of her whole world was affecting the steadiness of her hands.’
  • 3the worldHuman and social interaction.

    ‘he has almost completely withdrawn from the world’
    • ‘I may have been naïve, but even I knew a little about the way the world worked.’
    • ‘I sit here and all my interaction with the world goes fuzzy as if I am falling asleep.’
    • ‘It is a fundamental dispute about the way the world works and what our role in it should be.’
    • ‘We teach our students that they are obliged to study the broader social world.’
    • ‘For without a contrast model the world has no way to know or feel the oddness of its dependence on power for survival.’
    • ‘It gets you interacting with the world in all sorts of different ways.’
    • ‘These are serious blows to our sense of who we are, what we expect of the world and of our interactions with others.’
    • ‘I become irrational, cannot think straight and interact with the world in an entirely strange way.’
    • ‘Autism cuts off its sufferers from the world by impairing social skills and imaginative development.’
    • ‘That seemed to be the way the world worked, people leaving you the minute you didn't have a thing left to offer them.’
    • ‘Every artist looks at the world in a definite social manner, whether he or she knows it or not.’
    • ‘He wants us to see his work in precisely the same way we observe the world as we move through it.’
    • ‘He is constantly frustrated by his inability to change the way the world works more quickly and radically.’
    • ‘That is the way the world works and why should any one make an exception in my case?’
    • ‘Children use toys to imagine the world and to interact with it, learning skills that will be of value in later life.’
    society, high society
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Secular or material matters as opposed to spiritual ones.
      ‘parents are not viewed as the primary educators of their own children, either in the world or in the Church’
      • ‘It seems to be a connector or a medium between the materialistic world and the spiritual world.’
      • ‘People who see the world in terms of evil and sin will tend to devalue the material world.’
      • ‘The concept of Hell as a literal place has declined in an increasingly secular world.’
      • ‘There is a primary difference between the material world and the spiritual dimension.’
      • ‘The militantly secular world is also keenly alert to the challenge of the Passion.’
    2. 3.2 A stage of human life, either mortal or after death.
      ‘in this world and the next’
      • ‘I know who I am, and I know that I can only be myself, because that is the only thing I will carry out of this world, my soul.’
      • ‘This is an inspiring talk that will help us to establish our own priorities for this world and the next.’
      • ‘Then the oxygen machine arrived, the pain medications increased, and my mother slipped out of this world and into the next.’
      • ‘The two ideas could be linked: after all, cremation is itself a wall of fire that is a boundary between this world and the next.’

Phrases

  • be not long for this world

    • Have only a short time to live.

      ‘these people either radiate incredible vitality or else complain that they're not long for this world’
      • ‘One can only assume that the 95-year old is not long for this world.’
      • ‘In general, my tastes in television are a reliable guide to what's about to get cancelled - if I like it, it is not long for this world.’
      • ‘I'm going to need a new chair for the coming season - my old one, made of metal tubing, has developed an alarming creak over the winter and is not long for this world, I fear.’
      • ‘Sadly however, like our four other sisters, Caroline, Sophie, Amelie and Victory, he was not long for this world.’
      • ‘Sure enough, I tracked him down only to find out that he's extremely ill and possibly not long for this world.’
      • ‘One way or another, whether we like it or not we are all not long for this world.’
      • ‘In act, Dan was still laying drains well after doctors told him he was not long for this world.’
      • ‘As I watched and listened to Marie, I was overwhelmed by the love she showed this sick, frail man - not long for this world, with nothing to give her in return.’
      • ‘A child, not long for this world should have a heavenly name.’
      • ‘There are a few who know the reasons behind the murders, but they too are not long for this world.’
  • the best of both (or all possible) worlds

    • The benefits of widely differing situations, enjoyed at the same time.

      ‘I had the best of both worlds, since I worked as an ordinary member of the crew but fed with the officers’
      • ‘This type of work/life situation can be the best of both worlds - challenging work and plenty of support at home.’
      • ‘Education officers claim the scheme offers the best of both worlds and has the most flexibility to meet children's needs.’
      • ‘Many of us in this prosperous country are fortunate to be able to have the best of both worlds.’
      • ‘Enjoy the best of both worlds with our insider advice about three fun destinations’
      • ‘The council wanted the best of both worlds - trees to enhance the area, but no liability for them once it had officially protected them.’
      • ‘I don't see it as being hypocritical, but rather as having the best of both worlds.’
      • ‘And there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting the best of both worlds where culture is concerned.’
      • ‘Instead, they frequently enjoy the best of both worlds.’
      • ‘Splits were thought to offer investors the best of both worlds and ideal for people saving for school fees or for retirement.’
      • ‘Situated not far from the beach you can enjoy the best of both worlds in this relaxed but upmarket centre.’
  • bring someone into the world

    • Give birth to or assist at the birth of someone.

      • ‘Cathy's labor didn't last long, and in only an hour and a half, baby Daisy was brought into the world.’
      • ‘Abigail, a child of great beauty and undiscovered talent, has a safe and loving home with the midwife who brought her into the world.’
      • ‘She was rushed into hospital, where doctors tried to stop the labour to no avail and baby Adam was brought into the world over three months premature.’
      • ‘Young Oliver Twist is left in the care of a workhouse near London when his mother dies bringing him into the world.’
      • ‘She managed to be both gentle and authoritative and I trusted her to bring you into the world.’
      • ‘Mother's Day should be the most important festival of the year, because it honours the person who brought us into the world.’
      • ‘My poor mother had died bringing me into the world.’
      • ‘Anyway, never forget what she went through to bring you into the world.’
      • ‘Even at an early age I wondered why children are routinely named after their fathers, especially when the job of bringing them into the world is solely the responsibility of the mother.’
      • ‘Surgeons brought him into the world using forceps after two earlier attempts to deliver him by ventouse extraction had failed.’
  • come into the world

    • Be born.

      • ‘My most heart-melting moments were when each of them came into the world.’
      • ‘Forty minutes after Mia had come into the world, her identical twin sister Mona was born.’
      • ‘The boy would come into the world without a father.’
      • ‘The chimes of Big Ben had barely struck when little Sam came into the world at just one minute past midnight on New Year's Day.’
      • ‘After they come into the world, they are cleaned right in the room and then put on a special bed.’
      • ‘Maybe Saskia just wasn't ready to come into the world.’
      • ‘No one wants to see their child undergo an operation and Louise has already had a tough time coming into the world.’
      • ‘Screaming lustily, apparently as healthy as his sister despite the awkward way he came into the world, the second child was born.’
      • ‘The baby will come into the world, perhaps kicking and screaming, but babyhood will only be the beginning of a continuing process of growth and change.’
      • ‘Her twins came into the world at 25 weeks and five days - Tom weighing 749g and Bonnie 620g.’
  • come up (or go down) in the world

    • Rise (or drop) in status or wealth.

      ‘he's come up in the world since he went to work for them’
      ‘a street that had once been well heeled but had gone down in the world’
      • ‘Everybody knows that perfectly good teaching institutions can come to neglect the undergraduates and grind up the idealism of young academics because the faculty, or deans, or provosts want to come up in the world.’
      • ‘Some personal names have undoubtedly gone down in the world.’
      • ‘Lincoln is a city that's come up in the world since last I gave it close inspection, in my RAF days forty years ago.’
      • ‘I thought for sure we'd seen the last of you all those years ago… My, you've come up in the world!’
      • ‘He has had to sell his flat in Mayfair because of his bankruptcy, ‘but he has a new flat in Mayfair for his wife and daughter so he's hardly gone down in the world.’’
      • ‘He's come up in the world considerably since then.’
      • ‘His mother said the Pilgrims were coming up in the world.’
      • ‘This neighborhood is going through a transition, and it is coming up in the world, and that fire station will only add to the quality of life for the community.’
      • ‘Now it is coming up in the world and is a charming bohemian quarter.’
      • ‘‘You've come up in the world Ms. Johnson,’ he said, not hiding his antagonism.’
  • in an ideal (or a perfect) world

    • Used to express that something is highly desirable but not likely to become a reality.

      ‘in an ideal world, everyone would pay off their monthly credit card bills on time’
      • ‘In an ideal world, most new parents would rather stay at home, for the baby's first year at least, but financial considerations force them back to work.’
      • ‘In a perfect world, all you would have to do is create a document, decide which printer you want to use, and print.’
      • ‘In a perfect world, I would like my kids to know the support and love of their mother, me, and my partner.’
      • ‘In an ideal world, we would not need any additional aids to facilitate the training of our horses other than good tack and a good surface.’
      • ‘In an ideal world, all dance teachers would advocate healthy work habits.’
  • in a world of one's own

    • Concerned with one's own thoughts and not aware of what is happening around one.

      ‘he is in a world of his own and is frequently carried away by his own flights of fancy’
      • ‘There is no empathy with the public, for they live in a world of their own.’
      • ‘The referee appeared to be in a world of his own.’
      • ‘Many visitors felt that he lived in a world of his own.’
      • ‘Today, my father lives in a world of his own.’
      • ‘He seemed to be in a world of his own.’
      • ‘He was living in a world of his own.’
      • ‘They were spellbound in a world of their own.’
      • ‘Like all fantasists, Terence Cooper lived in a world of his own.’
      • ‘We were in a world of our own.’
      • ‘Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was trapped in a world of his own making.’
      absent-minded, preoccupied, absorbed, engrossed, far away, somewhere else, not there, not with us, abstracted, with one's head in the clouds, daydreaming, dreamy, inattentive, distracted, thoughtful, pensive, lost in thought, deep in thought, immersed in thought, wool-gathering, in a brown study, musing, brooding, absent, distrait, heedless, oblivious
      View synonyms
  • in the world

    • Used to express astonishment or disbelief in questions.

      ‘why in the world did you not reveal yourself sooner?’
      • ‘What in the world was going on in her mind?’
      • ‘Why in the world is this happening to me?’
  • look for all the world like

    • Look precisely like (used for emphasis)

      ‘fossil imprints that look for all the world like motorcycle tracks’
      • ‘This year, we had a few more minutes to chat before the panel as he sat there in his wheelchair, looking for all the world like someone who couldn't recall his name, let alone past events.’
      • ‘‘Hey, I'm in the finals,’ he beamed, looking for all the world like a kid in a sweet shop.’
      • ‘He looked for all the world like a little boy who had just brought a slimy frog to his Mother and couldn't understand why she wasn't excited too.’
      • ‘He looked for all the world like an art critic absent-mindedly contemplating a particularly engrossing landscape.’
      • ‘England and Germany looked for all the world like two teams competing to avoid the title of worst team in their section.’
      • ‘It looked for all the world like a very healthy clump of stinging nettles until it produced a fine display of large, pink flowers.’
      • ‘When Nadege and I passed, pushing Leyla in a stroller, looking for all the world like a very mismatched mixed-race couple with child, he smiled instinctively at the pretty baby.’
      • ‘We crouched beside the tree, looking for all the world like a Christmas card photo.’
      • ‘It arrived quite literally in a blaze of glory, wrapped in tinfoil with flames spurting out of the top, looking for all the world like my mum's finest Christmas pudding.’
      • ‘She looks for all the world like a little girl who's come to ask my son to play.’
  • man (or woman) of the world

    • A person who is experienced in the ways of sophisticated society.

      • ‘Now, excuse me, I'm a man of the world, and I, for one, find this a rather worrying development.’
      • ‘It quickly became clear that Lyon is a man of the world.’
      • ‘Collis told Dick how Rosemary has become a woman of the world, much different from the young girl they had known.’
      • ‘They went out as wide-eyed and gangly young teens, and came back seasoned men of the world, who had developed exotic tastes for horse meat, brandy, and long elegant cigarettes.’
      • ‘She seemed to personify what we were trying to achieve with the programme: a woman of the world who takes her destiny into her own hands.’
      • ‘Born in Singapore, growing up in East London and now based in Los Angeles, Clarisse is a woman of the world.’
      • ‘On the contrary, he was a man of the world, an experienced soldier, widely travelled, with close contacts with many of the leading men of affairs, both in his own city and elsewhere.’
      • ‘What a great example Kelly is to impressionable young women of the world.’
      • ‘Leonardo and Michelangelo, rivals in everything, were both men of the world and men of business.’
      • ‘As a woman of the world, Hillary, do you think I should do it?’
  • not do something for the world

    • Not do something whatever the inducement.

      ‘I wouldn't miss it for the world’
      • ‘Restructure or decline… A fossil fuel-based, automobile centered and throwaway economic model will not work for the world.’
      • ‘"I wouldn't do it for the world," Aurora declared.’
      • ‘This will be the fight of our lives, but I wouldn't miss it for the world.’
  • out of this world

    • informal Extremely enjoyable or impressive.

      ‘a herb and lemon dressing that's out of this world’
      • ‘It is really out of this world with a fabulous infrastructure, it's very safe and clean.’
      • ‘The drive was a little over an hour and the scenery was just out of this world.’
      • ‘The job is exhausting but the rewards are out of this world.’
      • ‘The clothes were out of this world and beautifully displayed.’
      • ‘The quality of the play was incredible, there were several chances at both ends, there was immense tension and the atmosphere was out of this world.’
      • ‘The foie gras terrine was unbelievably rich, and they had a white asparagus salad which was out of this world.’
      • ‘Johnson's guitar solo is out of this world - it actually sounds like lead and rhythm playing together, and a brass section.’
      • ‘The regular baguettes have a great crust, a medium crumb and lots of taste, and the sourdough baguettes are out of this world for serving with cheese.’
      • ‘The whole proceedings were out of this world and almost impossible to describe.’
      • ‘Along with that peace comes a joy and happiness that's out of this world!’
      marvellous, magnificent, superb, glorious, sublime, lovely, delightful, first-class, first-rate
      View synonyms
  • see the world

    • Travel widely and gain wide experience.

      • ‘Michael had travelling in the blood and wanted to see the world.’
      • ‘These affluent coastal urbanites enjoy seeing the world and are more likely to travel abroad than the average American.’
      • ‘And it was after this walking tour that he decided he wanted to travel some more and see the world.’
      • ‘We were young, excited about travel and seeing the world.’
      • ‘The nanny was a woman in her fifties who decided to go travel and see the world with the rest of her life.’
      • ‘Now his mind was firmly made up, it was travel for him, he was going to see the world.’
      • ‘Katrine and Michel were both teachers who loved to travel and this was how they saw the world.’
  • think the world of

    • Have a very high regard for.

      ‘I thought the world of my father’
      • ‘Her family were her pride and joy and she was devoted to them and they in turn thought the world of her.’
      • ‘‘He must have thought the world of his sister,’ says the woman, ‘to do all these commemorative things for her.’’
      • ‘And you also have three loving children who think the world of you so please don't get upset- or angry- over the confrontation this afternoon.’
      • ‘He thought the world of his sisters and brother.’
      • ‘After my father died, when I was 23, I discovered through others that he thought the world of me.’
      • ‘Steven was a shy, quiet lad but when he came out of his shell and people got to know him, they thought the world of him.’
      • ‘I think the world of my mum, as she is so kind, caring and loving to all of us.’
      • ‘The boy thinks the world of Emilio, appreciating the kind and attentive way he treats him and his mom.’
      • ‘He thought the world of us and would have hated for us to be unhappy.’
      • ‘She thought the world of all the children she taught over the years.’
      adore, hold dear, love, care very much for, feel great affection for, dote on, be devoted to, revere, esteem, admire, appreciate
      View synonyms
  • the world and his wife

    • Everybody.

      ‘now all the world and his wife seems to have heard of them’
      • ‘In the Atrium there is a huge glass window overlooking the Arcade where you can sit and watch the world and his wife stagger by.’
      • ‘I know the world and his wife loves them, but I'm thoroughly sick of dinosaurs.’
      • ‘He has bad knees, and the world and his wife know it.’
      • ‘With the help of the media, including the Evening Press, they ensured that the world and his wife knew about the gallery raid.’
      • ‘Word got out we were having a party and the world and his wife turned up.’
      • ‘It seems that the world and his wife now offer this service, which provides the home user a speed rivalling the internet connection you get in the office.’
      • ‘Yet here are thirteen hundred named images of babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers for the world and his wife to peer at.’
      • ‘I want the world and his wife to know what happened to my daughter.’
      • ‘Mrs Smith said: ‘That parrot would tell the world and his wife what his name is.’’
      • ‘Our little mini apartment at the Beach House hotel is right on the boardwalk where the world and his wife, their babies and assorted pets are jogging.’
  • a world away from

    • Completely different from.

      ‘her thoughtful manner is a world away from brash Alex’
      • ‘The job was a world away from his work at the time, as a child psychiatrist.’
      • ‘Their grandparents were only a 15-minute drive but a world away from the harsh neighborhood where the children lived.’
      • ‘Such style and courtesy, and great drinks, are a world away from the arrogance and snobbery of modern day party bars which invariably close after six months.’
      • ‘This is the new politics, a world away from old Westminster.’
      • ‘The bubbly decor, playful graphics, and bright colours seemed so very modern, and a world away from archetypal greasy spoon cafes.’
  • the world, the flesh, and the devil

    • All forms of temptation to sin.

      ‘Rossetti struggled with these words in her desire to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil’
      • ‘The daily, hourly conflict with the world, the flesh, and the devil, shall at length be at an end: the enemy shall be bound; the warfare shall be over; the wicked shall at last cease from troubling; the weary shall at length be at rest.’
      • ‘A rich understanding of the roles of God, the world, the flesh, and the devil in suffering will aid counselors in determining the best responses to their clients' pain.’
      • ‘In other words, the world, the flesh, and the devil are formidable obstacles to responding to the light and grace that God gives.’
      • ‘Epicurus' dubious reputation reflected the Christian tendency to regard earthly pleasures as the evil lures of the world, the flesh, and the devil.’
  • a (or the) world of

    • A very great deal of.

      ‘there's a world of difference between being alone and being lonely’
      ‘a bit of country air will do her the world of good’
      • ‘There will always be a world of difference in taste and texture between any farmed fish and its wild relation.’
      • ‘A simple nod, a raise of the hand or a flash of headlights can make the world of difference.’
      • ‘A rare flower can make a world of difference to the aroma, flavour and colour of honey.’
      • ‘It takes very little effort to do this and it can make a world of difference to the people around them.’
      • ‘I have been keeping myself to myself a bit recently, and it has actually done me the world of good.’
      • ‘I made good use of the pool and it made the world of difference to me and the baby.’
      • ‘Having the right pair to suit your feet and your activity can make the world of difference.’
      • ‘I think there's a world of difference between an arranged marriage and a forced marriage.’
      • ‘The association can rightly claim to have made a world of difference to many tragic young lives.’
      • ‘There is a world of difference between fact and opinion, and sometimes the two can get easily confused.’
      huge amount, vast amount, enormous amount, good deal, great deal, abundance, wealth, profusion, mountain, immensity
      View synonyms
  • (all) the world over

    • Everywhere on the earth.

      ‘laughter is the same language the world over’
      • ‘The water situation can be related, not only to Australia in general, but also to the world over.’
      • ‘For one, its gorgeous coloring makes it a favorite of snake and reptile collectors the world over.’
      • ‘They have made their fortunes, acquired stock options and are sought after the world over.’
      • ‘He shows that global trade has improved people's lives the world over.’
      • ‘This is a lovely seasonal opportunity to give and it brings great joy to deprived children the world over.’
  • worlds apart

    • Very different or distant.

      ‘our daughter's school is worlds apart from school as I knew it in the 1960s’
      • ‘It's ridiculous - we live in the same city but it feels like we're all worlds apart.’
      • ‘Of course, a toddler and a pre-teen are worlds apart.’
      • ‘Not just their locations make these two books worlds apart, they are different in style and structure too.’
      • ‘The streets are less than three miles away from each other - but in the eyes of house buyers, they are worlds apart.’
      • ‘The exhibition was staged across two very different urban sites, which although linked by a short bus ride are worlds apart in terms of economic and social infrastructure.’
      • ‘Although the three opposition leaders are worlds apart on most issues of policy, they do have two very important things in common.’
      • ‘But the two men are worlds apart on the issue of race.’
      • ‘Diplomatically, the two sides still seem worlds apart.’
      • ‘These cousins are brought up worlds apart and have enormous differences, but also enormous similarities.’
      • ‘It also has brought together communities that are worlds apart to enrich each other culturally, socially and economically.’
      unsuited, mismatched, ill-matched, poles apart, worlds apart, like day and night
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English w(e)oruld, from a Germanic compound meaning ‘age of man’; related to Dutch wereld and German Welt.

Pronunciation

world

/wəːld/