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All the world and his wife everyone; the term is first recorded in Swift's Polite Conversation (1738).

World Bank an international banking organization established to control the distribution of economic aid between member nations, and to make loans to them in times of financial crisis.

World Council of Churches an association established in 1948 to promote unity among the many different Christian Churches. Its member Churches number over 300, and include virtually all Christian traditions except Roman Catholicism and Unitarianism. Its headquarters are in Geneva.

World English the English language including all of its regional varieties, such as North American, Australian, New Zealand, and South African English.

World Heritage Site a natural or man-made site, area, or structure recognized as being of outstanding international importance and therefore as deserving special protection. Sites are nominated to and designated by the World Heritage Convention (an organization of UNESCO).

The world is one's oyster the world is one's prize; the whole world is available to one; perhaps originally with allusion to Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (1597).

the world, the flesh, and the devil all forms of temptation to sin; the phrase comes from the Litany, ‘From all the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil, Good Lord, deliver us.’

World Trade Center a complex of buildings in New York featuring twin skyscrapers 110 storeys high, designed by Minoru Yamasaki and completed in 1972. It was destroyed, with great loss of life, when terrorists flew hijacked passenger planes into its twin towers on 11 September, 2001.

World War I another term for First World War, and World War 2 is another term for the Second World War.

World Wide Fund for Nature an international organization established (as the World Wildlife Fund) in 1961 to raise funds for projects including the conservation of endangered species or of valuable habitats. Its symbol is a panda, typifying endangered species.

World Wide Web a widely used information system on the Internet, which provides facilities for documents to be connected to other documents by hypertext links, enabling the user to search for information by moving from one document to another.

world without end for ever, eternally; a translation of Late Latin in saecula saeculorum to the ages of ages, as used in Morning Prayer and other services.

See also it takes all sorts to make a world, better be out of the world than out of the fashion, brave new world, set the world on fire, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, love makes the world go round, Seven Wonders of the World at seven, worlds.

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