- The definition of a wilderness is a rough, uninhabited or neglected region.
A wooded area with no civilized life on the borders of a town is an example of the wilderness.
- an uncultivated, uninhabited region; waste; wild
- any barren, empty, or open area, as of ocean
- a large, confused mass or tangle
- Obsolete a wild condition or quality
Origin of wildernessMiddle English wildernesse ; from wilderne, wild place (; from Old English wilddeor, wild animal ; from wilde, wild + deor, animal, deer) + -nesse, -ness
- An unsettled, uncultivated region, especially:a. A large tract of land that has not been significantly affected by human activities.b. A barren or desolate area; a wasteland.
- Something characterized by bewildering vastness, perilousness, or unchecked profusion: a wilderness of unknown city streets; a wilderness of voices.
Origin of wildernessMiddle English, from Old English *wilddēornes, probably from wilddēor, wild beast : wilde, wild + dēor, wild animal.
Either from unattested Old English *wilddēornes (cognate with Dutch wildernis, German Wildnis), or from Old English wilddēoren (“wild, savage”) + -nes (“-ness”).