Meaning of “world” in the English Dictionary

"world" in British English

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worldnoun

uk /wɜːld/ us /wɝːld/

world noun (THE EARTH)

A1 [ S ] the earth and all the people, places, and things on it:

Different parts of the world have very different climatic conditions.
Which bridge has the longest span in the world?
News of the disaster shocked the (whole/entire) world.
We live in a changing world and people must learn to adapt.
She's a world authority on foetal development.

More examples

  • People from different cultures have different conceptions of the world.
  • The richer countries of the world should take concerted action to help the poorer countries.
  • I'm flirting with the idea of taking a year off and travelling round the world.
  • He's one of the highest-earning professional golfers in the world.
  • The museum's collection includes works of art from all around the world.

world noun (GROUP/AREA)

B1 [ C usually singular ] a group of things such as countries or animals, or an area of human activity or understanding:

the Muslim world
the animal world
stars from the rock music world
Unexpected things can happen in the world of subatomic particles.

More examples

  • This argument may seem arcane to those not closely involved in the world of finance.
  • He was considered as something of a maverick in the publishing world.
  • They are unable to see beyond the narrow world of the theatre.
  • Stars from the world of entertainment turned out to celebrate his 40th year in show business.
  • She was a key figure in the international art world.

(Definition of “world” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"world" in American English

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worldnoun

us /wɜrld/

world noun (THE EARTH)

[ U ] the planet on which human life has developed, esp. including all people and their ways of life:

People from all over the world will be attending the conference.
The rapid growth of computers has changed the world.

[ U ] The world can also mean the whole physical universe:

The world contains many solar systems, not just ours.

world noun (WHOLE AREA)

[ C ] all of a particular group or type of thing, such as countries or animals, or a whole area of human activity or understanding:

the animal/plant world
the business world
the world of entertainment
In the world of politics, the president’s voice is still the most powerful in the nation.

world noun (LARGE DEGREE)

[ U ] a large degree; a lot:

There’s a world of difference between the two hotels.

(Definition of “world” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"world" in Business English

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worldnoun [ C, usually singular ]

uk /wɜːld/ us

a particular area of activity:

Our world of work is changing rapidly.
the world of advertising/the internet
the business/corporate world

(Definition of “world” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)