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

Though these worldly concerns sometimes cause friction within the group, Renaldo and his compadres always find their way back together. Kristen Baldwin,, "A love letter to Los Espookys, TV's most delightful freak show," 3 July 2019 Trips to nearby towns are usually undertaken by the men, which deprives women of useful worldly experience. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Miriam Toews’s Quiet Revolution," 26 June 2019 In the nearly three-hour Our Time, Reygadas has gone completely worldly — still aestheticizing nature and behavior, yet always bypassing the spiritual for the carnal. Armond White, National Review, "Franco Zeffirelli: Unlikely Conservative Hero," 20 June 2019 Nearby, a man sat with what appeared to be all of his worldly possessions in multiple backpacks. Beth Spotswood,, "Trip to the ER with screaming baby a dose of reality," 19 June 2019 The figure of the Jewish moneylender is the product, not the source, of the myth of the worldly, greedy Jew. Sara Lipton, The New York Review of Books, "A Terribly Durable Myth," 17 June 2019 In 2001, Maldacena moved to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, a pastoral campus free of students and teaching duties where worldly distractions are minimized by design. Quanta Magazine, "Juan Maldacena, Pondering Quantum Gravity by the Pond," 16 June 2019 Leading lawyers urged China’s supreme court to consider similar bold steps when setting up the new tribunals, playing on its desire to make the judiciary more worldly and better-trained. The Economist, "A belt-and-road court dreams of rivalling the West’s tribunals," 6 June 2019 Designer Ulla Johnson might be a Brooklyn mom, dropping her kids off in clothes of her own design, but her personal style is that of a worldly au pair. Laura Neilson, WSJ, "Inside Ulla Johnson’s New Hamptons Outpost," 29 May 2019

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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Statistics for worldly

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for worldly

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on worldly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for worldly

Spanish Central: Translation of worldly

Nglish: Translation of worldly for Spanish Speakers

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