world·​ly | \ ˈwər(-ə)ld-lē How to pronounce worldly (audio) , ˈwərl-lē \

Definition of worldly

1 : of, relating to, or devoted to this world and its pursuits rather than to religion or spiritual affairs

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Other Words from worldly

worldliness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for worldly

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 worldly in a Sentence

She is more worldly than her younger sister. she returned from her year as an exchange student a much more worldly person
Recent Examples on the Web While Christianity has always emphasized the divine spirit over worldly flesh, Marie and her sisters never leave behind their physical selves. Lorraine Berry, Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2021 For Babeth Fribourg, a great lover of Proust, that place was a grand dwelling in Morocco, the house of her father, a worldly businessman and a leader of the small but influential Sephardic Jewish community in Casablanca. Guy Trebay, Town & Country, 2 Sep. 2021 Peyer’s mission was to combine that worldly collection with a bright, traditional color palette. House Beautiful, 1 Sep. 2021 In a neighborhood just east of downtown Orlando, a lone figure pushes a shopping cart through the night, the sum of his worldly possessions in tow. Kate Santich,, 21 Aug. 2021 The undereducated young woman with abandonment issues and the worldly prince with stiff-upper-lip issues (and a mistress to boot) were not a good match. San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Aug. 2021 The innovations begin with Morales’s restaurant design, which affirms Salvadoran culture in a minimalist dining room that, at heart, embraces the meditative calm of sunlight and few worldly possessions. Washington Post, 2 Aug. 2021 There are other-worldly powers at play on a dancefloor flooded by Amapiano, all held together by feet dancing in unison. Billboard, 27 July 2021 For his own very current, eclectic living room, Designer Robert Simon opted for a worldly mix of Carnation Red and deep-toned Bellodgia, relieved with lots of white and the gleam of glass and chrome. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, 23 July 2021

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

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First Known Use of worldly

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

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Time Traveler for worldly

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near worldly



worldly goods

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Worldly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of worldly

: of or relating to the human world and ordinary life rather than to religious or spiritual matters
: having a lot of practical experience and knowledge about life and the world


world·​ly | \ ˈwərld-lē How to pronounce worldly (audio) \
worldlier; worldliest

Kids Definition of worldly

1 : of or relating to the affairs of life rather than with spiritual affairs They lost all their worldly possessions in the fire.

Other Words from worldly

worldliness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on worldly

Nglish: Translation of worldly for Spanish Speakers


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