A Dictionary of the English Language
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World. n.s. [ƿoꞃlꝺ, Saxon; wereld, Dutch.]

  1. World is the great collective idea of all bodies whatever. Loc.

  2. System of beings.

    Begotten before all worlds. Nicone Creed.

    God hath in these last days spoken unto us by his son, by whom he made the worlds. Hebr. i. 2.

            Know how this world
    Of heav'n and earth conspicuous first began.

  3. The earth; the terraqueous globe.

                    He the world
    Built on circumfluous waters.
    Milton's Paradise Lost.

  4. Present state of existence.

    I'm in this earthly world, where to do harm
    Is often laudable; to do good sometime
    Accounted dangerous folly.
    Shakesp. Macbeth.

    I was not come into the world then. L'Estrange.

    He wittingly brought evil into the world. More.

    Christian fortitude consists in suffering for the love of God, whatever hardships can befal in the world. Dryden.

  5. A secular life.

    Happy is she that from the world retires,
    And carries with her what the world admires.
    Thrice happy she, whose young thoughts fixt above,
    While she is lovely, does to heav'n make love;
    I need not urge your promise, ere you find
    An entrance here, to leave the world behind?

    By the world, we sometimes understand the things of this world; the variety of pleasures and interests which steal away our affections from God. Sometimes we are to understand the men of the world, with whose solicitations we are so apt to comply. Roger's Sermons.

  6. Publick life.

    Hence banished, is banish'd from the world;
    And world exil'd is death.
    Shakesp. Romeo and Juliet.

  7. Business of life; trouble of life.

    Here I'll set up my everlasting rest,
    And shake the yoke of man's suspicious stars
    From this world-wearied flesh.
    Shakesp. Romeo and Juliet.

  8. Great multitude.

    You a world of curses undergo,
    Being the agents, or base second means.

    Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company;
    For you in my respect are all the world.

    I leave to speak of a world of other attempts furnished by kings. Raleigh's Apology.

    What a world of contradictions would follow upon the contrary opinion, and what a world of confusions upon the contrary practice. Bp. Sanderson.

    Just so romances are, for what else
    Is in them all, but love and battles?
    O' th' first of these we have no great matter
    To treat of, but a world o' th' latter.

    It brought into this world a world of woe. Milton.

    There were a world of paintings, and among the rest the picture of a lion. L'Estrange.

    Marriage draws a world of business on our hands, subjects us to law-suits, and loads us with domestick cares. Dryden.

    From thy corporeal poison freed,
    Soon hast thou reach'd the goal with mended pace;
    A world of woes dispatched in little space.

    Why will you fight against so sweet a passion,
    And steel your heart to such a world of charms?

  9. Mankind; an hyperbolical expression for many.

    This hath bred high terms of separation between such and the rest of the world, whereby the one sort are named the brethren, the godly; the other worldlings, time-servers, pleasers of men more than of God. Hooker.

                'Tis the duke's pleasure,
    Whose disposition, all the world well knows,
    Will not be rubb'd nor stopp'd.
    Shakesp. K. Lear.

    Why dost thou shew me thus to th' world?
    Bear me to prison.
    Shakesp. Measure for Measure.

    He was willing to declare to all the world, that, as he had been brought up in that religion established in the church of England, so he could maintain the same by unanswerable reasons. Clarendon.

  10. Course of life.

    Persons of conscience will be afraid to begin the world unjustly. Clarissa.

  11. Universal empire.

    Rome was to sway the world. Milton.

    This through the east just vengeance hurl'd,
    And lost poor Antony the world.

  12. The manners of men.

    Children should not know any wickedness. Old folks have discretion, and know the world. Shakespeare.

    What start at this! when sixty years have spread
    Their grey experience o'er thy hoary head?
    Is this the all observing age could gain?
    Or hast thou known the world so long in vain?

    If knowledge of the world makes man persidious,
    May Juba ever live in ignorance.
    Addison's Cato.

    The girl might pass, if we could get her
    To know the world a little better;
    To know the world! a modern phrase
    For visits, ombre, balls and plays.

  13. A collection of wonders; a wonder. Obsolete.

    The bassa having recommended Barbarussa, it was a world to see, how the court was changed upon him. Knolles.

  14. Time. A sense originally Saxon; now only used in World without end.

  15. In the world. In Possibility.

    All the precautions in the world were taken for the marriage of his younger brother. Addison.

  16. For all the world. Exactly. A ludicrous sense; now little used.

    He had a pair of horns like a bull, his feet cloven, as many eyes upon his body as my grey mare hath dapples, and for all the world so placed. Sidney, b. ii.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Butler, Samuel (98) · Clarendon, Edward (73) · Dryden, John (788) · The Bible - Hebrews (6) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1 (46) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Shakespeare's Measure for Measure (39) · Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (95) · Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream (28) · Milton, John (449) · More, Henry (28) · Nicene Creed (1) · Prior, Matthew (162) · Raleigh, Walter (68) · Richardson, Samuel (11) · Rogers, John (38) · Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (46) · Sanderson, Robert (8) · Sidney, Philip (140) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Waller, Edmund (63)

Attributes: Dutch (90) · Noun Substantive (1269) · Saxon (215)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "World." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: December 11, 2013. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/world/.

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