The quartet of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake and Bolt set a time of 37.04 seconds, probably unbeatable but overshadowed by a clash between Britain's Harry Aikines-Ayreetey and the USA's Darvis Patton on the final handover, causing the American to tumble and the Londoner to miss his baton change with Marlon Devonish.
"For me, it was just to go out there fast," Bolt said. "We did just that. I am proud of my team. I am happy with myself. I enjoyed being the anchor.
"I had a little problem with my Achilles. I can't run the bend. It was decided I would run the anchor. Yohan Blake ran a great bend. I am happy with that."
"We could never think that anything else was within reach when you have these Caribbean guys running on the same race with you," said France's Christophe Lemaitre, who won bronze behind Bolt in the 200 metres on Saturday.
"It is wonderful to win this silver medal, especially with the buddies from our relay team. "
The USA were primed to at least take silver when - just before his handover to Walter Dix - Patton's leg clipped the shoulder of Aikines-Ayreetey, who appeared to be fully inside his lane when contact was made.
Veteran Devonish threw his baton to the track in disgust, with Aikines-Ayreetey having set off early, possibly having assumed the touch had come from his team-mate and not Patton, who lay prostrate on the ground after losing his balance.
Those antics should not detract from a magnificent display of relay running by the Jamaicans, who matched their unquestionable speed with slick teamwork to leave 200m champion Bolt with an easy jog to the finish.
Triple world record holder Bolt leaves the championships with two golds, having made up for his 100m disqualification with dominant performances in the 200m and relay.
Jamacia's previous world record, set at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, was 37.10s.
Defending champions Jamaica took second place in 41.70 and Ukraine claimed the bronze medal in 42.51.
Bianca Knight ran the first leg for the United States before Allyson Felix powered down the back straight and handed over to Marshevet Myers.
Jeter, the individual 100 metres champion, took the baton with a slight lead and held off Veronica Campbell-Brown to give the Americans the gold.
"It's been great, I'm very excited going into London 2012, it gives me a lot of motivation to go training for next year," said Jeter.
"I'm excited to run with these ladies tonight, they ran exceptional legs, they did the job, we had confidence in each other."
It was the third 4x100 relay title for the United States in the last four championships after Jamaica had taken the title in Berlin two years ago.
Felix had come to Daegu targeting an unprecedented 200-400 world double but finished runner-up to Botswana's Amantle Montsho in the 400 and saw Campbell-Brown take her 200 title.
"I'm happy, it was an honour to run with these women tonight," said an exhausted Felix. "I just wanted to keep up ... I've been working on adrenaline just to keep up with the team."