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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
Related forms
old-worldly, adjective
old-worldliness, noun

Old World

Europe, Asia, and Africa. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for old-world
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There is an irresistible spirit of old-world pigtail decorum and dash about it all.

    Castle Rackrent Maria Edgeworth
  • Then an old-world cow came down to the edge of the stream and ate it.

    If Winter Don't Barry Pain
  • She sang a simple, old-world song full of homely pathos and gentle feeling.

    The Trail of '98 Robert W. Service
  • But Elizabeth did not trouble them with her old-world moral conceptions.

    Tales of Space and Time Herbert George Wells
  • The supplications were in vain; the railroad is in upon them, and the old-world institutions are doomed.

    The Book of Snobs William Makepeace Thackeray
  • She pursed up her cherub mouth in imitation of the old-world lady.

    The Children of Wilton Chase Mrs. L. T. Meade
  • I am certain they thought it an omen of some sort—everything amongst the old-world Japanese is looked upon as a good or bad omen.

    Lafcadio Hearn Nina H. Kennard
  • ND that is an old-world record, but it is quite a modern experience.

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 American Heritage® 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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