not worldly; not seeking material advantage; spiritually minded.
naive; unsophisticated; provincial.
not terrestrial; unearthly.

Origin of unworldly

First recorded in 1700–10; un-1 + worldly
Related formsun·world·li·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unworldly

Contemporary Examples of unworldly

  • Only the unworldly could still think this was, at its worst, only an unseemly platonic relationship rather than a serious bonding.

  • When she arrived at the academy, Fernandez was 17 and, Sousa told me, a shy, unworldly country girl.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Hugo and the Hottie

    Bryan Curtis

    October 8, 2009

Historical Examples of unworldly

  • Mother, you are too charitable for this earth—too unworldly altogether.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • It looked unreal, a painting of unworldly quiet and desolation.

    The Hills of Home

    Alfred Coppel

  • Those people had been right who had called Sir Denis unworldly.

    Mary Gray

    Katharine Tynan

  • He evidently thought of me as of one unworldly and unpractical.

  • She was wholly absorbed in her study of this unworldly and untaught nature.


    Frances Hodgson Burnett

British Dictionary definitions for unworldly



not concerned with material values or pursuits
lacking sophistication; naive
not of this earth or world
Derived Formsunworldliness, 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 unworldly

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper