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adjective, earth·i·er, earth·i·est.
  1. of the nature of or consisting of earth or soil.
  2. characteristic of earth: an earthy smell.
  3. realistic; practical.
  4. coarse or unrefined: an earthy sense of humor.
  5. direct; robust; unaffected: an earthy, generous woman.
  6. (of a mineral) having a dull luster and rough to the touch.
  7. Archaic. worldly; pertaining to the earth.

Origin of earthy

First recorded in 1350–1400, earthy is from the Middle English word erthy. See earth, -y1
Related formsearth·i·ly, adverbearth·i·ness, noun
Can be confusedearthly earthy (see synonym study at earthly)

Synonyms for earthy

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Antonyms for earthy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for earthiness

Contemporary Examples of earthiness

Historical Examples of earthiness

  • She was an Egeria who hovered above him, gently smiling at his earthiness.

    The Confounding of Camelia

    Anne Douglas Sedgwick

  • His passion is often impious in its earthiness; his yearning, sacrilege.

    Paul Verlaine

    Stefan Zweig

  • In spite of this earthiness, it still has its fanciful abstractions.

  • I do not really care how the naturalists maltreat language, but I do strenuously object to the earthiness of their ideas.


    J. K. Huysmans

  • They divest objects of their earthiness by bold simplifications, and transform reality into dreamland.

British Dictionary definitions for earthiness


adjective earthier or earthiest
  1. of, composed of, or characteristic of earth
  2. robust, lusty, or uninhibited
  3. unrefined, coarse, or crude
  4. an archaic word for worldly (def. 1)
  5. electrical engineering on the earthed side of an electrical circuit, but not necessarily with a direct current connection to earth
Derived Formsearthily, adverbearthiness, 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

Word Origin and History for earthiness



1550s, from earth + -y (2). Figurative sense of "coarse, unrefined" is from 1590s. Related: Earthiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper