Synonym Chooser

How is the word carnal different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of carnal are animal, fleshly, and sensual. While all these words mean "having a relation to the body," carnal may mean only this but more often connotes derogatorily an action or manifestation of a person's lower nature.

a slave to carnal desires

When can animal be used instead of carnal?

While the synonyms animal and carnal are close in meaning, animal stresses the physical as distinguished from the rational nature of a person.

led a mindless animal existence

How do fleshly and carnal relate to one another?

Fleshly is less derogatory than carnal.

a saint who had experienced fleshly temptations

When is it sensible to use sensual instead of carnal?

While in some cases nearly identical to carnal, sensual may apply to any gratification of a bodily desire or pleasure but commonly implies sexual appetite with absence of the spiritual or intellectual.

fleshpots providing sensual delights

Thesaurus Entries Near carnal

Cite this Entry

“Carnal.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on carnal

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