earth·​ly ˈərth-lē How to pronounce earthly (audio)
: characteristic of or belonging to this earth
: relating to the human race's actual life on this earth
: possible
of what earthly use is it?
earthliness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for earthly

earthly, worldly, mundane mean belonging to or characteristic of the earth.

earthly often implies a contrast with what is heavenly or spiritual.

abandoned earthly concerns and entered a convent

worldly and mundane both imply a relation to the immediate concerns and activities of human beings, worldly suggesting tangible personal gain or gratification

worldly goods

and mundane suggesting reference to the immediate and practical.

a mundane discussion of finances

Examples of earthly in a Sentence

a sermon against our obsession with earthly pursuits
Recent Examples on the Web Sensible and sensual, the zodiac’s luxury-loving Bull reminds us to enjoy earthly pleasures without losing sight of practical needs, like, say, having money to pay November’s rent. The Astrotwins, ELLE, 1 Sep. 2023 Wagner, an artist who was primarily concerned with entanglements of earthly power and spiritual love, has no place in such a world, except as a source for cut-up musical memes. Utkin and Prigozhin succeeded in tarnishing Wagner’s name for a new generation. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 2 Sep. 2023 And if people have to defend earthly life from a potential asteroid impact, those details will surely matter. Ramin Skibba, WIRED, 30 Aug. 2023 During this Age of Dharma Degeneration, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III descended to the earthly realm, exhibiting perfect mastery of Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism, along with unparalleled expertise in the Five Vidyas. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 25 July 2023 In 2010, at age 22, Shetty traveled to India, shaved his head and gave up all of his earthly possessions. Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times, 27 Aug. 2023 Julianna Barwick Slow choirs echoing in heavenly vaults, earthly rumbles, harmonic breezes—Barwick’s quasi-sacramental electronic loops evoke the great outdoors, even in tiny spaces. Vulture, 25 Aug. 2023 And to what extent do earthly realities like empire and resource extraction show up in these iconic science fiction films?, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Aug. 2023 In fact, most UFO sightings have earthly explanations, from tricks of the light to weather balloons. Mary Magnuson, Discover Magazine, 15 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'earthly.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of earthly was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near earthly

Cite this Entry

“Earthly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


earth·​ly ˈərth-lē How to pronounce earthly (audio)
: belonging to or having to do with the earth
earthly joys
: imaginable, possible
that tool is of no earthly use
earthliness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on earthly

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