carnal

play
adjective car·nal \ ˈkär-nᵊl \

Definition of carnal

1 a :relating to or given to crude bodily pleasures and appetites
  • gluttony and other carnal activities
b :marked by sexuality
  • carnal love
2 :bodily, corporeal
  • seen with carnal eyes
3 a :temporal
  • carnal weapons
  • the superiority of the spiritual and eternal over the carnal
  • —H. O. Taylor
b :worldly
  • a carnal mind

carnality

play \kär-ˈna-lə-tē\ noun

carnally

play \ˈkär-nə-lē\ adverb

Examples of carnal in a Sentence

  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

Recent Examples of carnal from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carnal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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

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

CARNAL Defined for English Language Learners

carnal

play
adjective

Definition of carnal for English Language Learners

  • : of or relating to the body : sexual or sensual



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