Definition of carnal
1a : relating to or given to crude bodily pleasures and appetites gluttony and other carnal activitiesb : marked by sexuality carnal love
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
CARNAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of carnal for English Language Learners
: of or relating to the body : sexual or sensual
Seen and Heard
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