world·​ly-wise | \ ˈwərl(d)-lē-ˌwīz How to pronounce worldly-wise (audio) \

Definition of worldly-wise

: possessing a practical and often shrewd understanding of human affairs

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sophisticated, worldly-wise, blasé mean experienced in the ways of the world. sophisticated often implies refinement, urbanity, cleverness, and cultivation. guests at her salon were usually rich and sophisticated worldly-wise suggests a close and practical knowledge of the affairs and manners of society and an inclination toward materialism. a worldly-wise woman with a philosophy of personal independence blasé implies a lack of responsiveness to common joys as a result of a real or affected surfeit of experience and cultivation. blasé travelers who claimed to have been everywhere

First Known Use of worldly-wise

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of worldly-wise was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Worldly-wise.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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How to pronounce worldly-wise (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of worldly-wise

: having or showing a lot of experience and knowledge about life and the world


world·​ly-wise | \ ˈwərld-lē-ˌwīz \

Kids Definition of worldly-wise

: aware of and having knowledge about the things and ways of this world

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


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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