- of or relating to the earth, especially as opposed to heaven; worldly.
- possible or conceivable: an invention of no earthly use to anyone.
Origin of earthly
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. secular, temporal, mortal. Earthly, terrestrial, worldly, mundane refer to that which is concerned with the earth literally or figuratively. Earthly now almost always implies a contrast to that which is heavenly: earthly pleasures; our earthly home. Terrestrial, from Latin, is the dignified equivalent of earthly, and it applies to the earth as a planet or to the land as opposed to the water: the terrestrial globe; terrestrial areas. Worldly is commonly used in the sense of being devoted to the vanities, cares, advantages, or gains of this present life to the exclusion of spiritual interests or the life to come: worldly success; worldly standards. Mundane, from Latin, is a formal equivalent of worldly and suggests that which is bound to the earth, is not exalted, and therefore is commonplace: mundane pursuits.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for earthly
You are, for example, still subject to earthly gravity, and not in orbit.Sky Wars: Richard Branson’s Rival in the Great Space Race
October 7, 2014
He then slumped to the floor, to the amazement of his audience, having departed this plane of earthly existence.When Gary Wright Met George Harrison: Dream Weaver, John and Yoko, and More
September 29, 2014
Members of the cult offer body sacrifices and worship the bones of their dead ancestors to ward off earthly evil.Argentinian Teen Was Starved and Held Captive With a Canine For 9 Years
Barbie Latza Nadeau
April 17, 2014
I never was one,” he insisted—“even on the basis of an earthly definition of a saint as a sinner who keeps trying.Mandela: The Miracle Maker
December 5, 2013
But if a genius is a quasi-divine being, a certain exemption from earthly laws of conduct is only natural.What is a Genius?
November 9, 2013
When they do not disturb him with earthly medicines, he is quiet and happy.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Must all novels end with an earthly marriage, and nothing be left for heaven?Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
What sun of earthly joy could ever break through such clouds!
If he was not to be her earthly refuge in this trouble as in any other, she would none of him!
There's no people in the earthly world talks as fine as the Ulster people.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
- of or characteristic of the earth as opposed to heaven; material or materialistic; worldly
- (usually used with a negative) informal conceivable or possible; feasible (in such phrases as not an earthly (chance), etc)
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 earthly
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper