• WordNet 3.6
    • n wilderness a bewildering profusion "the duties of citizenship are lost sight of in the wilderness of interests of individuals and groups","a wilderness of masts in the harbor"
    • n wilderness a wild and uninhabited area left in its natural condition "it was a wilderness preserved for the hawks and mountaineers"
    • n Wilderness a wooded region in northeastern Virginia near Spotsylvania where bloody but inconclusive battles were fought in the American Civil War
    • n wilderness (politics) a state of disfavor "he led the Democratic party back from the wilderness"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Spinning thread or yarn and weaving cloth were endless chores for the women living in the small wilderness settlement. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.) Spinning thread or yarn and weaving cloth were endless chores for the women living in the small wilderness...
The wilderness traveller The wilderness traveller

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28%. Percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%
    • Wilderness A disorderly or neglected place.
    • Wilderness A tract of land, or a region, uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings, whether a forest or a wide, barren plain; a wild; a waste; a desert; a pathless waste of any kind. "The wat'ry wilderness yields no supply."
    • Wilderness Quality or state of being wild; wildness. "These paths and bowers doubt not but our joint hands.
      Will keep from wilderness with ease."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n wilderness A tract of land inhabited only by wild beasts; a desert, whether forest or plain.
    • n wilderness A wild; a waste of any kind.
    • n wilderness A part of a garden set apart for plants to grow in with unchecked luxuriance.
    • n wilderness A confused or bewildering mass, heap, or collection.
    • n wilderness Wildness.
    • n wilderness Synonyms Wilderness, Desert. See desert.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Wilderness a wild or waste place: an uncultivated region: a confused mass:
    • Wilderness (Shak.) wildness
    • ***


  • Bible
    “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman. [Proverbs 21:19]”
  • James Russell Lowell
    “One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.”
  • George Eliot
    “Best friend, my well-spring in the wilderness!”
  • Walter Lippmann
    “The great social adventure of America is no longer the conquest of the wilderness but the absorption of fifty different peoples.”
  • John Muir
    John Muir
    “The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”
  • Havelock Ellis
    “The Promised Land always lies on the other side of a Wilderness.”


Voice in the wilderness - Someone who expresses an opinion that no one believes or listens to is a voice in the wilderness, especially if proved right later.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. wildernesse, wilderne,probably from AS. wildor, a wild beast; cf. D. wildernis, wilderness. See Wilder (v. t.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. wild; prob. orig. 'self-willed,' from the root of will; Ger. wild.


In literature:

You cannot call up any wilder vision than a city in which men ask themselves if they have any selves.
"Orthodoxy" by G. K. Chesterton
And Father de Smet, one of the noblest figures in history, carrying the gospel into the wilderness!
"The River and I" by John G. Neihardt
It is a vast, trackless, uninhabited wilderness of stunted forests and wide, naked barrens.
"The Story of Grenfell of the Labrador" by Dillon Wallace
He had misgivings when he removed his wife and two daughters to that wilderness home.
"Oonomoo the Huron" by Edward S. Ellis
A man out in the wilderness was preaching a new doctrine.
"I.N.R.I." by Peter Rosegger
I will lay aside my fishing, and go to the wilderness of Judaea.
"A Life of St. John for the Young" by George Ludington Weed
Israelites in the wilderness.
"Companion to the Bible" by E. P. Barrows
Colonel Wilders, I could not think of giving you so much trouble.
"The Thin Red Line; and Blue Blood" by Arthur Griffiths
He no longer saw anything to dread in the white wilderness.
"The Courage of Marge O'Doone" by James Oliver Curwood
Wilderness, opening of, 26.
"Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II" by Charles Upham

In poetry:

Bird of the wilderness,
Blithesome and cumberless,
Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea!
Emblem of happiness,
Blest is thy dwelling-place -
O to abide in the desert with thee!
"The Skylark" by James Hogg
Sunbeam of summer! oh! what is like thee?
Hope of the wilderness, joy of the sea!–
One thing is like thee to mortals given,
The faith touching all things with hues of Heaven!
"The Sunbeam" by Felicia Dorothea Hemans
The echo faints and fails;
It suiteth not, upon this western plain,
Out voice or spirit; we should stir again
The wilderness, and make the vales
Resound unto a yet unheard-of strain.
"How Long?" by Emma Lazarus
It is their bed, white little isle of bliss
In the dark wilderness of midnight sea,—
Hush! 'tis their hearts still beating from the kiss,
The warm dark kiss that only night may see.
"Good-Night" by Richard Le Gallienne
Love heeds no more the sighing of the wind
Against the perfect flowers: thy garden's close
Is grown a wilderness, where none shall find
One strayed, last petal of one last year's rose.
"The Garden of Shadow" by Ernest Christopher Dowson
They bid me forget him! As if I could tear
From my heart the dear image so long cherished there!
Like a rose in the wilderness, blooming and free,
Like a fount in the desert that love is to me!
"Blue Bell" by S C Edgarton

In news:

Wilderness access road reopened near Darrington.
Oregon Badlands Wilderness gallery (9 photos).
Two years after its designation as wilderness, the Oregon Badlands still have a sign problem.
The Wilderness Public Service District has issued a boil-water advisory for customers on and off W.Va 129 in the Summersville Lake Road area.
It's a crime what happened to the wonderful African wilderness movie "Duma" in 2005.
Rockers Anand Wilder and Michael Angelakos round out the top three.
Rep Tryon Lewis lends yet another helping hand to billionaire Harold Simmons by Forrest Wilder Published on Thursday, March 17, 2011, at 6:54 CST.
Brinkley's 'The Quiet World' is a lively, lovingly written history of saving the Alaskan wilderness.
Moderate backpack up Manzana Creek from Nira Camp to Manzana Camp in the San Rafael Wilderness (Los Padres National Forest South).
Smoke continues to pour into the Bitterroot Valley from forest fires in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.
Newcomb has a vast, pristine wilderness to explore - the largest in Essex County.
4D Archery Pro show to open next door to Wilderness Artistry Taxidermy.
Despite the hellacious name of this wilderness area just north of Lake Pleasant, the Spring Valley Trail is a kid-friendly hike, according to some Internet guides.
Los Angeles has many public stairways , but only one drops into the heart of a 15,000-acre urban wilderness park known as the Big Wild.
The nice thing about hiking in the wilderness of West Virginia is that you lose internet connection, and with it all interest or knowledge of the goings-on in the "real world".

In science:

We can extend above corollary to a wilder class of functions - namely, I -measurable functions.
Generalized Luzin sets
We also prove the o-minimal analogues of Wilder’s finiteness theorem in these two contexts.
Invariance of o-minimal cohomology with definably compact supports
We also prove here the o-minimal analogues of Wilder’s finiteness theorem mentioned in the Introduction.
Invariance of o-minimal cohomology with definably compact supports
Wilder J.W., New concepts in technical trading systems.
The beneficial role of random strategies in social and financial systems
Maxima larger than minima, data points wilder near the minima (Pioneer 10).
The correct analysis and explanation of the Pioneer-Galileo anomalies