Wilderness Wil"der*ness, n. [OE. wildernesse, wilderne,probably from AS. wildor a wild beast; cf. D. wildernis wilderness. See {Wilder}, v. t.] [1913 Webster] 1. A tract of land, or a region, uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings, whether a forest or a wide, barren plain; a wild; a waste; a desert; a pathless waste of any kind. [1913 Webster]

The wat'ry wilderness yields no supply. --Waller. [1913 Webster]

2. A disorderly or neglected place. --Cowper. [1913 Webster]

3. Quality or state of being wild; wildness. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

These paths and bowers doubt not but our joint hands. Will keep from wilderness with ease. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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  • WILDERNESS — or desert; (Heb. צִיָּה ,יְשִׁימוֹן ,מִדְבָּר). In most biblical passages midbar refers principally to an uninhabited, uncultivated land (e.g., Jer. 2:2; 22:6; Ps. 107:4, 33–36) but sometimes also denotes complete desolation (e.g., Num. 20:4–5;… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Wilderness — Wilderness …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • wilderness — UK US /ˈwɪldənəs/ noun [C, usually singular] ● in the wilderness Cf. in the wilderness …   Financial and business terms

  • wilderness — ► NOUN 1) an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region. 2) a position of disfavour. ● a voice in the wilderness Cf. ↑a voice in the wilderness ORIGIN Old English, «land inhabited only by wild animals»; related to DEER(Cf. ↑ …   English terms dictionary

  • wilderness — c.1200, from O.E. wildeoren wild, savage, from wildern (adj.) wild, savage (from wilde wild + deor animal; see DEER (Cf. deer)) + NESS (Cf. ness). Cf. Du. wildernis, Ger. Wildernis, though the usual form is …   Etymology dictionary

  • wilderness — *waste, desert, badlands …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • wilderness — / wilds [n] uninhabited area back country, back of beyond*, badland, barrens, boondocks, bush, desert, forest, hinterland, jungle, middle of nowhere*, outback, primeval forest, sticks*, waste, wasteland, wild; concept 517 Ant. city, metropolis …   New thesaurus

  • Wilderness — [wil′dər nis] the woodland region in NE Va., south of the Rapidan River: scene of a Civil War battle (May, 1864) between the armies of Grant and Lee …   English World dictionary

  • wilderness — [wil′dər nis] n. [ME wildernesse < wilderne, wild place (< OE wilddeor, wild animal < wilde, WILD + deor, animal, DEER) + nesse, NESS] 1. an uncultivated, uninhabited region; waste; wild 2. any barren, empty, or open area, as of ocean 3 …   English World dictionary

  • Wilderness — For other uses, see Wilderness (disambiguation). Old growth European Beech forest in Biogradska Gora National Park, Montenegro …   Wikipedia

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