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4 definitions found
 for wilderness
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Wilderness \Wil"der*ness\, n. [OE. wildernesse,
     wilderne,probably from AS. wildor a wild beast; cf. D.
     wildernis wilderness. See Wilder, v. t.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. 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.
        [1913 Webster]
              The wat'ry wilderness yields no supply. --Waller.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. A disorderly or neglected place. --Cowper.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. Quality or state of being wild; wildness. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
              These paths and bowers doubt not but our joint
              Will keep from wilderness with ease.  --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: (politics) a state of disfavor; "he led the Democratic
           party back from the wilderness"
      2: a wooded region in northeastern Virginia near Spotsylvania
         where bloody but inconclusive battles were fought in the
         American Civil War
      3: a wild and uninhabited area left in its natural condition;
         "it was a wilderness preserved for the hawks and
         mountaineers" [syn: wilderness, wild]
      4: 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"

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  85 Moby Thesaurus words for "wilderness":
     Arabia Deserta, Chinese puzzle, Death Valley, Gordian knot,
     Lebensraum, Rube Goldberg contraption, Sahara, air space,
     back country, back of beyond, backcountry, backlands, backwoods,
     barren, barren land, barrens, boondock, boondocks, borderland,
     brush, bush, bush country, bushveld, can of worms, clear space,
     clearance, clearing, complex, desert, desolation, distant prospect,
     dust bowl, empty view, forests, frontier, glade, heath, hinterland,
     howling wilderness, jungle, karroo, knot, labyrinth, living space,
     lunar landscape, lunar waste, maze, meander, mesh, mess,
     open country, open space, outback, outpost, perplex, plain,
     prairie, ravel, salt flat, snafu, snake pit, snarl, steppe, tangle,
     tangled skein, terrain, territory, the bush, timbers,
     uninhabited region, up-country, virgin land, virgin territory,
     waste, wasteland, weary waste, webwork, wheels within wheels,
     wide-open spaces, wild, wild West, wildness, wilds, woodlands,

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary :

     (1.) Heb. midhbar, denoting not a barren desert but a district
     or region suitable for pasturing sheep and cattle (Ps. 65:12;
     Isa. 42:11; Jer. 23:10; Joel 1:19; 2:22); an uncultivated place.
     This word is used of the wilderness of Beersheba (Gen. 21:14),
     on the southern border of Palestine; the wilderness of the Red
     Sea (Ex. 13:18); of Shur (15:22), a portion of the Sinaitic
     peninsula; of Sin (17:1), Sinai (Lev. 7:38), Moab (Deut. 2:8),
     Judah (Judg. 1:16), Ziph, Maon, En-gedi (1 Sam. 23:14, 24;
     24:1), Jeruel and Tekoa (2 Chr. 20:16, 20), Kadesh (Ps. 29:8).
       "The wilderness of the sea" (Isa. 21:1). Principal Douglas,
     referring to this expression, says: "A mysterious name, which
     must be meant to describe Babylon (see especially ver. 9),
     perhaps because it became the place of discipline to God's
     people, as the wilderness of the Red Sea had been (comp. Ezek.
     20:35). Otherwise it is in contrast with the symbolic title in
     Isa. 22:1. Jerusalem is the "valley of vision," rich in
     spiritual husbandry; whereas Babylon, the rival centre of
     influence, is spiritually barren and as restless as the sea
     (comp. 57:20)." A Short Analysis of the O.T.
       (2.) Jeshimon, a desert waste (Deut. 32:10; Ps. 68:7).
       (3.) 'Arabah, the name given to the valley from the Dead Sea
     to the eastern branch of the Red Sea. In Deut. 1:1; 2:8, it is
     rendered "plain" (R.V., "Arabah").
       (4.) Tziyyah, a "dry place" (Ps. 78:17; 105:41).
       (5.) Tohu, a "desolate" place, a place "waste" or "unoccupied"
     (Deut. 32:10; Job 12:24; comp. Gen. 1:2, "without form"). The
     wilderness region in the Sinaitic peninsula through which for
     forty years the Hebrews wandered is generally styled "the
     wilderness of the wanderings." This entire region is in the form
     of a triangle, having its base toward the north and its apex
     toward the south. Its extent from north to south is about 250
     miles, and at its widest point it is about 150 miles broad.
     Throughout this vast region of some 1,500 square miles there is
     not a single river. The northern part of this triangular
     peninsula is properly the "wilderness of the wanderings"
     (et-Tih). The western portion of it is called the "wilderness of
     Shur" (Ex. 15:22), and the eastern the "wilderness of Paran."
       The "wilderness of Judea" (Matt. 3:1) is a wild, barren
     region, lying between the Dead Sea and the Hebron Mountains. It
     is the "Jeshimon" mentioned in 1 Sam. 23:19.

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