1712, "belonging to a prehistoric age," see old + world. Meaning "of or pertaining to Eurasia and Africa," as opposed to the Americas, is by 1877. The noun phrase Old World in this sense is by 1590s. The division of the earth into Old World and New World among Europeans dates to 1503 and Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci's use of Latin Mundus Novus for the lands of the western hemisphere found by Columbus and others, indicating they were not part of Asia.
The Known World is usually divided into four Parts, Europe, Asia, Africk and America. But it is a most unequal Division, and I think it more rational to divide it thus. Viz. the Known World, first into two Parts, the Old and the New World; then the Old World into three, Europe, Asia, and Africa; and the New into two, the Northern and Southern America. [Guy Miege, "A New Cosmography, or Survey of the Whole World," London, 1682]
library classification system that organizes information into 10 broad areas subdivided numerically into progressively smaller topics, by 1885, named for Melvil Dewey (1851-1931) who proposed it 1876 while acting librarian of Amherst College. He also crusaded for simplified spelling and the metric system.
legal Latin, "in the process of being done," from fieri "to come into being, become," used as passive of facere "to make, do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").
signed into law Oct. 26, 2001; a contrived acronym for the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.
Latin, literally "the descent of Avernus (is) easy" ["Aeneid," VI.126], in reference to Avernus, a deep lake near Puteoli and a reputed entrance to the underworld; hence, "it is easy to slip into moral ruin."
attested from 1617, originally with reference to Holland; the North American confederation first so called in 1776. United Provinces were the seven northern provinces of the Netherlands, allied from 1579, later developing into the kingdom of Holland.
a blackface troupe originated c. 1843 by Edwin P. Christy in Buffalo, N.Y.; one of the first (along with Dan Emmett) to expand blackface from a solo act to a full minstrel show and bring it into the mainstream of American entertainment.