[ wurld-lee ]
See synonyms for: worldlyworldliness on

adjective,world·li·er, world·li·est.
  1. of or relating to this world as contrasted with heaven, spiritual life, etc.; earthly; mundane.

  2. experienced; knowing; sophisticated: the benefits of his worldly wisdom.

  1. devoted to, directed toward, or connected with the affairs, interests, or pleasures of this world.

  2. of or relating to the people or laity; secular; neither ecclesiastical nor religious.

  3. Obsolete. of, relating to, or existing on earth.

  1. in a worldly manner (archaic except in combination): worldly-wise; worldly-minded.

Origin of worldly

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English wor(u)ldlīc. See world, -ly

synonym study For worldly

1. See earthly.

Other words for worldly

Opposites for worldly

Other words from worldly

  • world·li·ness, noun
  • pre·world·li·ness, noun
  • pre·world·ly, adjective
  • su·per·world·li·ness, noun
  • su·per·world·ly, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use worldly in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for worldly


/ (ˈwɜːldlɪ) /

adjective-lier or -liest
  1. not spiritual; mundane or temporal

  2. Also: worldly-minded absorbed in or concerned with material things or matters that are immediately relevant

  1. Also: worldly-wise versed in the ways of the world; sophisticated

  2. archaic existing on or relating to the earth

  3. obsolete secular; lay

  1. archaic in a worldly manner

Derived forms of worldly

  • worldliness, 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