adjective car·nal \ˈkär-nəl\

: of or relating to the body : sexual or sensual

Full Definition of CARNAL

a :  relating to or given to crude bodily pleasures and appetites
b :  marked by sexuality <carnal love>
:  bodily, corporeal <seen with carnal eyes>
a :  temporal <carnal weapons>
b :  worldly <a carnal mind>
car·nal·i·ty \kär-ˈna-lə-tē\ noun
car·nal·ly \ˈkär-nə-lē\ adverb

Examples of CARNAL

  1. <the preacher warned that those who were interested only in carnal pursuits would not see the kingdom of heaven>
  2. <a missionary who tends to the carnal needs of the people as well as to their spiritual concerns>

Origin 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

carnal, fleshly, sensual, animal mean having a relation to the body. carnal may mean only this but more often connotes derogatorily an action or manifestation of a person's lower nature <a slave to carnal desires>. fleshly is less derogatory than carnal <a saint who had experienced fleshly temptations>. sensual may apply to any gratification of a bodily desire or pleasure but commonly implies sexual appetite with absence of the spiritual or intellectual <fleshpots providing sensual delights>. animal stresses the physical as distinguished from the rational nature of a person <led a mindless animal existence>.

Rhymes with CARNAL


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