Whenever I see the vocab in any SRS (not sure about WK though tbh), when I type in the answer “world” it’s always wrong. Expected is The World or The Universe. I always took it for just another word for world but now I am wondering if there is a special drift to it.
I would expect the special connotation is the same as for ‘the World’ (note the capitalisation), as opposed to ‘world’.
This is usually used when you are talking in superlative terms, like the biggest cake in the world or the tallest mountain in the world. This is the reason why it is not only “world”, but “the world”.
No I wouldn’t worry about it. Just put ‘world’ as a synonym.
“world” has a suprising number of definitions
I personally get a very strong “The specific world we are in” feeling from 世界, rather than the “idea” of worlds in the abstract. You can probably think of it as synonymous with “The Earth” outside of fantasy/sci-fi…
I have ザワールド as a synonym
If you’re discussing reality, then yes, generally, 世界 is ‘the world’ as in the planet Earth. It can also encompass the universe, but the main idea is ‘the world (in which we live)’. If, however, you’re dealing with parallels universes, like in fantasy, you might be referring only to ‘a world’. Honestly though, I think it shares most of the same uses as ‘world’ in English, including in phrases like ‘you and I live in different worlds’.
The phrase that really has a special connotation is 世の中, which is ‘world’, but almost like a philosophical concept. It encompasses society, life, the present era… I guess the literal translation is far more accurate: ‘the interior of the world’ would be what you find in the world, after all. Here’s a well-known haiku about it:
It expresses how quickly the world changes. I’ll leave you to research that if it interests you.