worldly-wise

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective worldly-wise differ from other similar words?

The words blasé and sophisticated are common synonyms of worldly-wise. While all three words mean "experienced in the ways of the world," 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

When can blasé be used instead of worldly-wise?

The meanings of blasé and worldly-wise largely overlap; however, 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

Where would sophisticated be a reasonable alternative to worldly-wise?

In some situations, the words sophisticated and worldly-wise are roughly equivalent. However, sophisticated often implies refinement, urbanity, cleverness, and cultivation.

guests at her salon were usually rich and sophisticated

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Cite this Entry

“Worldly-wise.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/worldly-wise. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

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