Simple Definition of carnal
: of or relating to the body : sexual or sensual
Full Definition of carnal
carnalityplay \kär-ˈna-lə-tē\ noun
carnallyplay \ˈkär-nə-lē\ adverb
Examples of carnal in a sentence
<the preacher warned that those who were interested only in carnal pursuits would not see the kingdom of heaven>
<a missionary who tends to the carnal needs of the people as well as to their spiritual concerns>
Did You Know?
In Christianity in past centuries, carnal was often used as the opposite of spiritual, describing what are sometimes called "the pleasures of the flesh". Thus, gluttony--the consumption of excessive food and drink--was a deadly carnal sin, whereas the holiest monks and hermits might eat hardly anything and never touch wine. Today carnal has a somewhat old-fashioned sound; when we use it, we generally mean simply "sexual".
Origin and Etymology of carnal
Middle English, from Anglo-French or Late Latin; Anglo-French carnel, charnel, from Late Latin carnalis, from Latin carn-, caro flesh; akin to Greek keirein to cut — more at shear
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of carnal
Seen and Heard
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