1 noun
1 OUR PLANET/EVERYONE ON IT the world the planet we live on, and all the people, cities, and countries on it; the Earth: the world's tallest building | Tuberculosis is still common in some parts of the world. | At that time China was the most powerful country in the world. | The Press Association flashed the news to the world. | all over the world (=everywhere in the world): Delegates from all over the world will be at the conference.
2 in the world used to emphasize a statement you are making: the happiest/most exciting etc ... in the world: If she asked me to marry her I'd be the happiest man in the world. | not have a care in the world (=not be worried at all about anything) | nothing in the world (=nothing at all): Nothing in the world can save them now. | have all the time in the world (=have a lot of time so that you do not have to hurry): Don't worry, we've got all the time in the world. | What/Who/Where/How etc in the world ...? (=used after what or who etc to emphasize a question in order to show that you are very surprised, annoyed, or angry): What in the world are you doing here at seven in the morning?
3 the outside world the people who live outside a particular place, country etc; especially when the people living in that place or country cannot meet them or talk to them: a jungle tribe who have no contact with the outside world
4 THE SOCIETY WE LIVE IN the society that we live in and the kind of life we have: The world is being transformed by information technology. | Parents want a better world for their children.
—see land 1
5 GROUP OF COUNTRIES the Western World/the industrialized world/the developing world etc a particular group of countries: The British are among the biggest sugar consumers in the developed world.
—see also: Third World
6 PERIOD IN HISTORY the Roman world/the Medieval world, etc a particular period in history and the society and people of that time: the artistic, literary, and intellectual culture of the Roman World
7 AREA OF ACTIVITY/WORK (countable usually singular) a particular area of activity or work, and the people who are involved in it: the world of politics | an influential figure in the business world | The show-business world was out in force at the Oscar ceremony.
8 SB'S LIFE (C) the life a particular person or group of people lives, especially the things they do and the people they know: the world of children | Dean's world was filled with music and laughter.
9 in a world of your own informal if someone lives in a world of their own, they do not seem to notice what is happening around them and are more concerned with their own thoughts: I can't get through to that girl - she seems to be in a world of her own.
10 KIND OF PLACE/SITUATION a particular kind of place or situation, especially one that someone describes or which you imagine: the nightmare world of Orwell's novel 1984 | Italy's mountains and lakes are a stunning world of peace and tranquillity.
11 the animal/plant/insect world animals etc considered as a group of living things with their own particular way of living or behaving
12 PLACE LIKE THE EARTH (C) a place like the Earth in another part of the universe where other things may live: strange creatures from another world
13 be out of this world informal something that is out of this world is so good, enjoyable etc, it is unlike anything else you have ever experienced: Tracy's new apartment is just out of this world.
14 do sb a world of good informal if something does someone a world of good, it makes them feel much better: Why don't you go for a walk, it'll do you a world of good.
15 be/feel on top of the world informal to feel extremely happy
16 be/mean all the world to to be more important to you than anyone or anything else: I'd hate to lose her - she means all the world to me.
17 think the world of sb to love and respect someone very much: Lee thinks the world of you - you know that.
18 see the world to travel to many different countries so that you can get a lot of different experiences
19 the world over in every country or area of the world; everywhere: It's the same the world over. | Her books have delighted adults and children the world over.
20 move up/go up in the world to move into a higher social class: He's gone up in the world now - he's far too posh to talk to me.
21 go down/come down in the world to move down to a lower social class.
22 there's a world of difference between used when saying that two things or situations are completely different and people should not expect them to be the same: There's a world of difference between enjoying cooking and doing it for a living.
23 be worlds apart/be a world apart people, beliefs, or ideas that are worlds apart are so completely different that there is almost nothing about them that is similar: Their political views are just worlds apart.
24 for all the world as if/like literary exactly as if or exactly like: She sat reading her paper, looking for all the world as if nothing had happened.
25 not for the world if someone would not do a particular thing for the world, they would never do it whatever happened: I wouldn't hurt her for the world.
26 be a man/woman of the world to be someone who has had many experiences and is not easily shocked: Victor is a man of the world - I'm sure he'll understand.
27 set the world on fire/alight spoken an expression meaning to have a big effect or be very successful, often used when you think someone or something has failed to do this: His last film didn't exactly set the world on fire.
28 set/put the world to rights to discuss or say how the world should be changed to make people's lives better: We were having a few beers and generally putting the world to rights.
29 the next world/the world to come literary the place where people's souls are believed to go after they die
30 not be long for this world to not be going to live much longer
31 this world literary the state of being alive: depart/leave this world (=die)
32 bring a child into the world formal
a) if a woman brings a child into the world she gives birth to it
b) if a doctor brings a child into the world he helps the mother give birth
33 come into the world literary to be born
34 the Michael Jacksons/Paul Smiths etc of this world spoken used when making a general comment about a particular kind of person: The Frank Clarkes of this world are only interested in furthering their own careers.
35 the world is your oyster used to tell someone that there is no limit to the opportunities that they have: “If you've got a good education, the world is your oyster”, my father used to say.
36 workers/women etc of the world used when addressing all workers, women etc in a speech, book etc
37 NOT RELIGIOUS the world the way of life most people live rather than a spiritual way of life: monks who renounce the world
—see also: best of both worlds best 3 (5), dead to the world dead 1 (9), New World, Old World 2 adjective (only before noun)
1 existing in or affecting the whole world: The prospects for world peace are improving. | the world recession of the early nineties | world champion/record etc (=the best in the world, especially in a sport): Hawthorn became Britain's first world champion.
2 important or powerful enough to influence or affect the whole world: Britain's attempts to remain a world power | a world figure on the international stage

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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