A man of the world. One acquainted with the ways of public and
A woman of the world. A married woman.
“Touchstone. To-morrow will we be married.”
“I do desire it with all my heart; and I hope it is no
dishonest desire to be a woman of the world.”
As You Like It, v. 3.
All the world and his wife. Everyone
To go to the world. To get married. The
Catholics at one time exalted celibacy into “a crown of
glory,” and divided mankind into celibates and worldlings (or
laity). The former were monks and nuns, and the latter were the
monde (or people of the world). Similarly they
divided literature into sacred and profane.
“Everyone goes to the world but I, and I may sit in a
corner and cry heigho! for a husband.”
Much Ado About Nothing, ii. 1.
“If I may have your ladyship's good will to go to the
world, Isabel and I will do as we may.” —All's
Well that Ends Well, i. 3.
(The). The world, the
flesh, and the devil. “The
world,” i.e. the things of this
world, in contradistinction to religious matters; “the
flesh,” i.e. love of pleasure and
sensual enjoyments; “the devil,”
i.e. all temptations to evil of every kind, as theft,
murder, lying, blasphemy, and so on.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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