1. Carnal,sensual,fleshly,animal all refer to bodily rather than rational or spiritual aspects of humans. Carnal, although it may refer to the body as opposed to the spirit, often refers to sexual needs or urges: carnal cravings, attractions, satisfactions.Sensual implies a suggestion of eroticism: sensual eyes; a sensual dance; it may also refer to experience of the senses: a sensual delight.Fleshly may refer to any physical need or appetite, sex as well as hunger and thirst: the fleshly sin of gluttony; fleshly yearnings.Animal refers to sexual appetites in a censorious way only; it may also describe pleasing or admirable physical characteristics or appearance: animal lust; to move with animal grace.
early 15c., "sensuality," from Late Latin carnalitas, from Latin carnalis (see carnal). Meaning "state of being flesh, fleshliness" is from mid-15c.
c.1400, "physical, human, mortal," from Old French carnal and directly from Medieval Latin carnalis "natural, of the same blood," from Latin carnis "of the flesh," genitive of caro "flesh, meat" (see carnage). Meaning "sensual" is from early 15c.; that of "worldly, sinful" is from mid-15c. Carnal knowledge is attested from early 15c. and was in legal use by 1680s.