world·​ly-wise | \ ˈwərl(d)-lē-ˌwīz How to pronounce worldly-wise (audio) \
variants: or less commonly worldly wise

Definition of worldly-wise

: possessing a practical and often shrewd understanding of human affairs : worldly sense 2 She was pure but practical, idealistic but worldly-wise.— Andy Levin It's a photographic exhibition, pulling together an exceptionally diverse range of works, from the obvious to some which may surprise the most worldly-wise of old souls.— Ian Mansfield Mabel [Loomis Todd] is quite a woman—complex, resilient, worldly wise, smart and way ahead of her time …— Nancye Tuttle Olympia Dukakis, the self-assured, raspy-voiced actress who often played world-weary and worldly wise characters …— Anita Gates

Choose the Right Synonym for worldly-wise

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.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for worldly-wise


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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