The adjective: WORLDWIDE has various senses: across the globe, worldwide, wide-ranging, worldwide in terms of geographical coverage. It conveys the idea that something is beyond the boundaries of a particular region or area. Hence, the expression, “worldwide” can mean anywhere and everywhere. Some examples which use the word “wide-ranging” in this sense are: the globe encompassing the whole of the earth, the universe or, in technical terms, the “cosmos”.
There are two related connotations for the term worldwide: first, as an inclusive term, comprising the whole of the earth; and second, as a partial designation, denoting a particular portion of the earth’s surface. In the former context, the term was widely used since ancient times to indicate the wide extent in terms of national influence. The word “worm” for instance, is grammatically related to the Latin verb “wormum”, indicating an extending or expanding action or feeling. Thus, the verb “worm” can be used worldwide to denote a feeling of extending throughout the whole globe. “Wide-ranging” then literally means” extending throughout the whole world”.
Another example of the usage of this term is found in a song written by the American musician Jimmy James: “I’m a world wide fan/ I’m a world-wide traveler”. “World wide traveler” has another sense as well: it can suggest traveling throughout one’s entire life. Thus, “a world traveler” can mean “one who travels frequently” or “one who travels around the world”. “Wide-ranging” on the other hand refers only to the term itself and not to its meaning or application.
A similar term is “the world’s smallest newspaper”. This phrase first appeared in a British magazine in the year 1940. In the earliest usage, the term referred only to the magazine; however, eventually the meaning and application of the term worldwide became clear. The phrase now refers to a worldwide coverage of any type of newspaper.
The phrase “worldwide appeal” first appeared in the Broadway play “The Heartbreak Kid” in 1947. The play follows the life of a young man who tries to win the affections of his girl but finds it difficult due to her large distance from him. Later on, the phrase was modified to “the worldwide appeal of the theater”. “The worldwide appeal of the theater” subsequently became a popular phrase with Broadway producers. It can also refer to the appeal of a play to a worldwide audience. In popular use, the term is used to indicate the wide variety of plays being produced.
Another example of worldwide appeal is the phrases “the world’s smallest factory” and “the world’s most dangerous city”. These two phrases refer to the same play, which centers on the theme of a factory that operates globally. Even though both play types share some similar characteristics such as their theme of an intricate set of technology, places of production, and the theme of violence, the world’s smallest factory and the most dangerous city are each developed in entirely different countries.