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[ohld-wurld] /ˈoʊldˈwɜrld/
of or relating to the ancient world or to a former period of history.
of or relating to the Old World:
old-world customs.
characteristic of the Old World; quaint; traditional.
Origin of old-world
First recorded in 1705-15
Related forms
old-worldly, adjective
old-worldliness, noun

Old World

Europe, Asia, and Africa. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for old-world
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But Dan was in no mood to appreciate the old-world beauty of the Oak Parlour.

    The Inn at the Red Oak Latta Griswold
  • She loved the old-world silence that was only broken by the dripping of water in the pools.

    Olive in Italy Moray Dalton
  • There is nothing to break the spell of that old-world enchantment.

  • And also, perhaps, the old-world errand on which I had come.

    The Wisdom of Father Brown G. K. Chesterton
  • They were truly an old-world race, clad in very old-world garments.

  • It is said that the early Fathers were jealous of the influence of this old-world science.

  • John Bergson had the old-world belief that land, in itself, is desirable.

    O Pioneers! Willa Cather
  • For my part I have no belief in the romance of old-world life.

    The Quadroon Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for old-world


of or characteristic of former times, esp, in Europe, quaint or traditional
Derived Forms
old-worldly, adverb

Old World

that part of the world that was known before the discovery of the Americas, comprising Europe, Asia, and Africa; the eastern hemisphere
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for old-world

Old World


of or pertaining to Eurasia and Africa, as opposed to the Americas, 1877.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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old-world in Culture

Old World definition

The Eastern Hemisphere, especially Europe, as opposed to the New World — the Americas.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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