noun Etymology: Middle English, from wildern wild, from Old English wilddēoren of wild beasts Date: 13th century 1. a. (1) a tract or region uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings (2) an area essentially undisturbed by human activity together with its naturally developed life community b. an empty or pathless area or region <
in remote wildernesses of space groups of nebulae are found — G. W. Gray †1960
c. a part of a garden devoted to wild growth 2. obsolete wild or uncultivated state 3. a. a confusing multitude or mass ; an indefinitely great number or quantity <
I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys — Shakespeare
b. a bewildering situation <
those moral wildernesses of civilized life — Norman Mailer

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 — 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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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