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[uhn-wurld-lee] /ʌnˈwɜrld li/
not worldly; not seeking material advantage; spiritually minded.
naive; unsophisticated; provincial.
not terrestrial; unearthly.
Origin of unworldly
1700-10; un-1 + worldly
Related forms
unworldliness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for unworldly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was the close of a useful, unworldly, unambitious life, full of innocent enjoyment and deep affection.

    Robert Browning Edward Dowden
  • He evidently thought of me as of one unworldly and unpractical.

    How It All Came Round L. T. Meade
  • Foster was an extremely modest, unworldly, retiring gentleman.

    The Unpublishable Memoirs A. S. W. Rosenbach
  • She was wholly absorbed in her study of this unworldly and untaught nature.

    Esmeralda Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • And would my suit now be as welcomed as it had been by a mother even so unworldly as Mrs. Ashleigh?

    A Strange Story, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • It looked unreal, a painting of unworldly quiet and desolation.

    The Hills of Home Alfred Coppel
  • He was not talking of any unworldly visionary like Vaughan or George Herbert.

    Orthodoxy G. K. Chesterton
  • Those people had been right who had called Sir Denis unworldly.

    Mary Gray Katharine Tynan
British Dictionary definitions for unworldly


not concerned with material values or pursuits
lacking sophistication; naive
not of this earth or world
Derived Forms
unworldliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unworldly

1707, from un- (1) "not" + worldly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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