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 Diesel’s brief appearance at the end of the third film tied his L.A. racer antihero to Kang’s worldly Tokyo drifter two years before Marvel adopted credits stingers to link its own cinematic universe together. Los Angeles Times, 18 June 2021 The more worldly Alberto is a risk-taker, bold, impulsive. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 17 June 2021 Balancing the other-worldly success of a few in contrast with the challenges many still face is one of the thornier dilemmas of a post-COVID-19 world where those gaps have grown ever wider. Zachary Karabell, Time, 9 June 2021 The secret to his success at the three-level Warehouse was playing disco music on the best sound system available, creating an atmosphere that many in Chicago relished as an escape from worldly problems. Deanese Williams-harris,, 28 May 2021 His actions stand in sharp contrast to his later reputation as a tolerant man, which some attributed to his evolution from a small-town rural boy to a much more worldly musician. Sydney Trent, Arkansas Online, 25 May 2021 If politics is the art of the possible, then there are two kinds of radicals: those who disdain all worldly forms of politics, and those who engage in politics in order to change what’s possible. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, 24 May 2021 The intricate, other-worldly structures look really cool. Laura Helmuth, Scientific American, 10 May 2021 The Encircle app works on iOS and Android and was created to take inventory of your worldly possessions. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, 22 Apr. 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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Last Updated

21 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for worldly



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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for worldly

Nglish: Translation of worldly for Spanish Speakers


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