Wil"der*ness (?), n. [OE. wildernesse, wilderne,probably from AS. wildor a wild beast; cf. D. wildernis wilderness. See Wilder, v. t.]


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. Waller.


A disorderly or neglected place.



Quality or state of being wild; wildness.


These paths and bowers doubt not but our joint hands. Will keep from wilderness with ease. Milton.


© Webster 1913.