world·​ly | \ˈwər(-ə)ld-lē, 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

But the drug formerly known as Accutane also has some serious side effects including, other-worldly dryness, serious warnings about getting pregnant, and a potential relationship to increasing your risk of depression and anxiety. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Woman Shares Before-and-After Photos to Show How Accutane Transformed Her Skin," 27 Sep. 2018 The best way to wear your worldly goods: all together—and all at once. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Have Travel, Will Shop: The Best Pieces From Around the World (And Those You Can Buy Online, Too)," 6 Sep. 2018 To get up close to the magnificent creatures, stay at the Ol Pejeta Bush Camp, an old-worldly tented camp located inside the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Mary Holland, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Safari-to-Beach Trips to Book," 26 Apr. 2018 Who knows how things might look in 2022 with a team of built around emerging youngsters and the other-worldly skills of Christian Pulisic. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "The United States' World Cup failure is looking worse every day," 19 June 2018 International stars cross oceans for their fans, cross continents to work with other artists, and generally live a rather worldly lifestyle. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Martin Garrix & Khalid Share 'Ocean' Ballad: Listen," 15 June 2018 Architecture fans and students from all over the world have visited the compound to see the imaginative and other-worldly buildings that Hubbell designed and built with his son from the 1950s-1960s. Pam Kragen,, "At 86, artist Hubbell isn't slowing down," 3 June 2018 These clergy and parishioners dismissed the humanitarian act of rescuing Jews — which was also undeniably political — as a course best avoided by a church that perceived itself above the taint of worldly affairs. Rabbi Dan Fink, idahostatesman, "Neutrality is not a moral option | Idaho Statesman," 21 Apr. 2018 Croatia has been a high-powered side blessed with worldly gifts in the feet of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Why England's World Cup pain hurts so much," 11 July 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

18 Nov 2018

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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 \
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).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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