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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Wilderness \Wil"der*ness\, n. [OE. wildernesse, wilderne,probably from AS. wildor a wild beast; cf. D. wildernis wilderness. See Wilder, v. t.] [1913 Webster] 1. 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. [1913 Webster] The wat'ry wilderness yields no supply. --Waller. [1913 Webster] 2. A disorderly or neglected place. --Cowper. [1913 Webster] 3. Quality or state of being wild; wildness. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] These paths and bowers doubt not but our joint hands. Will keep from wilderness with ease. --Milton. [1913 Webster]