Defar won in 9 minutes, 10.47 seconds, lowering the mark of 9:11.97 set by American Regina Jacobs in 1999.
The crowd at Home Depot Center roared as the 23-year-old runner cruised toward the finish line, leaving her rivals far behind.
Defar grabbed the green, gold and red Ethiopian flag and jogged around the track, stopping to greet well-wishers.
Defar won a gold medal in the 5,000 meters at the 2004 Athens Olympics and Sunday's effort was her fourth world mark.
Representatives of the Israeli Defence Ministry responded to recent reports about the possible delivery of S-300 SAM systems from Russia to Syria. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel would destroy those systems
Russia is to start supplying S-300 air defence systems to Syria in the near future. The shipments will be conducted free of charge