See more synonyms for worldly 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.
  3. devoted to, directed toward, or connected with the affairs, interests, or pleasures of this world.
  4. of or relating to the people or laity; secular; neither ecclesiastical nor religious.
  5. Obsolete. of, relating to, or existing on earth.
  1. in a worldly manner (archaic except in combination): worldly-wise; worldly-minded.

Origin of worldly

before 900; Middle English; Old English wor(u)ldlīc. See world, -ly
Related formsworld·li·ness, nounpre·world·li·ness, nounpre·world·ly, adjectivesu·per·world·li·ness, nounsu·per·world·ly, adjective

Synonyms for worldly

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1. temporal. See earthly. 2. urbane, cosmopolitan.

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

Examples from the Web for worldly

Contemporary Examples of worldly

Historical Examples of worldly

  • Then he licked his chops and looked in admiration on his worldly friend.

    A Night Out

    Edward Peple

  • If I have erred, 'tis to worldly wisdom only that I have erred.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • He has been the very madman of politics from the point of view of Mr. Worldly Wiseman.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • All your worldly goods you will leave to some one who is very dear to you.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • Not surely so much in worldly as in religious considerations.

British Dictionary definitions for worldly


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
  3. Also: worldly-wise versed in the ways of the world; sophisticated
  4. archaic existing on or relating to the earth
  5. obsolete secular; lay
  1. archaic in a worldly manner
Derived Formsworldliness, 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 worldly

Old English woruldlic, from the roots of world and like (adj.). A common Germanic compound (cf. Old Frisian wraldlik, Old Saxon weroldlik, Middle Dutch wereldlik, German weltlich, Old Norse veraldligr). Worldly-wise is recorded from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper