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90s Slang You Should Know

wilderness

[wil-der-nis] /ˈwɪl dər nɪs/
noun
1.
a wild and uncultivated region, as of forest or desert, uninhabited or inhabited only by wild animals; a tract of wasteland.
2.
a tract of land officially designated as such and protected by the U.S. government.
3.
any desolate tract, as of open sea.
4.
a part of a garden set apart for plants growing with unchecked luxuriance.
5.
a bewildering mass or collection.
Origin of wilderness
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English; Old English *wil(d)dēornes, equivalent to either wil(d)dēor wild beast (see wild, deer) + -nes -ness, or wilddēoren wild, savage (wilddēor + -en -en2) + (-n)es -ness; probably reinforced by Middle English wildernes, genitive of wildern wilderness (noun use of Old English wilddēoren), in phrases like wildernes land land of wilderness
Synonym Study
1. See desert1.

Wilderness

[wil-der-nis] /ˈwɪl dər nɪs/
noun
1.
a wooded area in NE Virginia: several battles fought here in 1864 between armies of Grant and Lee.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for wilderness

wilderness

/ˈwɪldənɪs/
noun
1.
a wild, uninhabited, and uncultivated region
2.
any desolate tract or area
3.
a confused mass or collection
4.
a voice in the wilderness, a voice crying in the wilderness, a person, group, etc, making a suggestion or plea that is ignored
5.
in the wilderness, no longer having influence, recognition, or publicity
Word Origin
Old English wildēornes, from wildēor wild beast (from wild + dēor beast, deer) + -ness; related to Middle Dutch wildernisse, German Wildernis

Wilderness

/ˈwɪldənɪs/
noun
1.
the Wilderness, the barren regions to the south and east of Palestine, esp those in which the Israelites wandered before entering the Promised Land and in which Christ fasted for 40 days and nights
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 wilderness
n.

c.1200, from Old English wildeoren "wild, savage," from wildern (adj.) "wild, savage" (from wilde "wild;" see wild (adj.) + deor "animal;" see deer) + -ness. Cf. Dutch wildernis, German Wildernis, though the usual form is Wildnis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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14
16
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