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

The end result can be beautiful other-worldly creations. Daniel Wolfe, Quartz, "How plastic turns into rocks and ends up on our beaches," 8 Aug. 2019 There's something about the horrific events unfolding in a bright pastoral setting bathed in round-the-clock sunlight that heightens that other-worldly effect. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Midsommar is a slasher film with artsy ambitions that doesn’t quite work," 4 July 2019 Anyone who thinks about art in an intelligent, worldly way understands that artists and connoisseur patrons draw from everywhere. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Dijon’s Masterpiece of a Museum, Brilliantly Renovated," 20 July 2019 Poor Charlie’s Almanack’ was aimed at trying to limit avoidable ignorance of worldly wisdom. Shelby Pope,, "Billionaire’s 2005 ‘Almanack’ of sage advice finds an audience in S.F. tech world," 17 July 2019 Remain conscientious and pay attention to your worldly duties all day and there will be time for friends, fun, or romance at night. Tribune Content Agency,, "Horoscope for July 16, 2019: Scorpio, discuss financial strategies with family; Aquarius, follow the leader," 16 July 2019 Just let go of worldly concerns; invite a loved one or child to join you., "Horoscope," 29 June 2019 Theirry, however, waffles constantly between his dream of acquiring great worldly power and an intermittent desire to renounce the Devil and all his works. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, "‘Black Magic’ is an oft-overlooked thriller. Don’t overlook it.," 5 June 2019 Rarely has a jazz vocalist achieved such sanctity of expression in a concert hall purely through other worldly sounds of his own making. Howard Reich,, "'Songs of Freedom' digs into bracing music of the 1960s," 7 Apr. 2018

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

12 Aug 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

Comments on worldly

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


a period when something is suspended

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