earth·​ly | \ ˈərth-lē How to pronounce earthly (audio) \

Definition of earthly

1a : characteristic of or belonging to this earth
b : relating to the human race's actual life on this earth
2 : possible of what earthly use is it?

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from earthly

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 Someone who most likely is not there in earthly form but who taught the game in a very particular way and demanded that it be played that way. New York Times, "A World of Black Intimacy at the Card Table," 24 Feb. 2021 Neither of its two principal artist figures, the antic bell-founder and the monkish painter, can elude the cold eyes of earthly authority. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "The Drenching Richness of Andrei Tarkovsky," 8 Feb. 2021 Writing in the journal Arqueología Mexicana, researcher Enrique Martínez Vargas notes that the Aztecs viewed human sacrifice as a way of restoring earthly and celestial order and securing the survival of their civilization. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "In Mexico, Archaeologists Reveal a Story of Cannibalism and Conquest," 22 Jan. 2021 Transcendentalism argued that heaven could be found on earth in the full embrace of the natural world; and that archaic ideas of earthly life as penance for an eternity of paradise denied the moral duty of humanity to build a better world. Globe Staff,, "Chasing a painter’s long-lost rainbow at Brook Farm," 28 Jan. 2021 Scientists have dreamed for decades of such studies that could take place on the moon’s far side, where they would be shielded from earthly transmissions and untroubled by any significant atmosphere to impede cosmic views. Anil Ananthaswamy, Scientific American, "Telescopes on Far Side of the Moon Could Illuminate the Cosmic Dark Ages," 15 Jan. 2021 Sabrina attempts to trap The Void in Pandora’s box, but is pulled back to earthly reality by her family and friends. Ariana Romero,, "Netflix’s Sabrina Finale Snuck Up On The Cast. This Is How They Feel About That Devastating Ending," 1 Jan. 2021 But those who hoarded their AAdvantage miles and other travel credits have no earthly use for them in the Age of COVID-19. Scott Burns, Dallas News, "Scott Burns: Why I’m taking a bow before unveiling my 2021 fearless financial forecasts," 31 Dec. 2020 No earthly power has the ability to stop Beijing from choosing this path if that is what party leaders wish. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Beijing’s Collision With Christians," 21 Dec. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of earthly

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about earthly

Time Traveler for earthly

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for earthly

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Earthly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for earthly



English Language Learners Definition of earthly

: having to do with life on the Earth
: imaginable or possible


earth·​ly | \ ˈərth-lē How to pronounce earthly (audio) \

Kids Definition of earthly

1 : having to do with or belonging to the earth
2 : imaginable, possible It's of no earthly use.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on earthly

What made you want to look up earthly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!