• synonyms


See more synonyms for worldly on Thesaurus.com
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.
Show More
  1. in a worldly manner (archaic except in combination): worldly-wise; worldly-minded.
Show More

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

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. temporal. See earthly. 2. urbane, cosmopolitan.

Antonyms for worldly

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for worldly

mundane, secular, earthy, practical, earthly, temporal, selfish, urbane, cosmopolitan, hardened, carnal, fleshly, human, lay, materialistic, natural, physical, profane, terrestrial, ungodly

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
Show More
  1. archaic in a worldly manner
Show More
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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper