Worldwide or World-Wide? Which Is Correct?

Hyphenated words are very common in English. They’re used for clarity and to let anyone reading know that the words hyphenated together are linked. However, it’s hard to tell which words receive hyphens, and which do not, such as worldwide. Is it worldwide or world-wide?

Worldwide is a compound word, meaning it does not need a hyphen or a space. World-wide and world wide are not correct spellings of the word. Worldwide is the only correct spelling and is the one used the most often. Worldwide is a closed compound word, meaning there’s no reason to put a space or hyphen between the words “world” and “wide”.

The rest of this sentence will cover what worldwide means, and how to use it in a sentence.

What Worldwide Means

To understand worldwide, you need to break down the word. The word is a combination of the words “world” and “wide”. The two are put together to form a compound word. On their own, “world” and “wide” mean two completely different things.

World most commonly refers to the entire planet Earth, or a group of countries or realities. For example, you can refer to Earth as “the world”, or you can directly talk to a certain world like this: “The Korean-speaking world”. This sentence means you’re talking to those who can speak Korean, AKA, the Korean side of the world.

Wide, on the other hand, is nothing like world. It has nothing to do with an entire planet. Wide has to do with distance. Wide means an above average length or distance. Alternatively, wide can mean “to a full extent”. An example of this would be “wide-open eyes”.

If you put these two definitions together, they make “worldwide”, which means something that extends throughout the world. For example, you can call a popular artist a “worldwide sensation” since they’re appealing to people all over the world.

How To Use Worldwide In A Sentence

Worldwide can be used as either an adjective or an adverb. This means it’s a descriptive word, not a noun. You should use it to describe persons, places, things, and actions. Here is how you use it to describe an action:

“Thanks to her job as a global ambassador, she often travels worldwide.”

In this sentence, “worldwide” is describing the action of traveling, therefore making it an adverb. Now, here’s worldwide used as an adjective:

“Worldwide sales of pop songs have gone up in the past year.”

“Worldwide” is describing sales, making it an adjective.