AskDefine | Define worldly

The Collaborative Dictionary

Worldly \World"ly\, a. [AS. woroldlic.] [1913 Webster]
Relating to the world; human; common; as, worldly maxims; worldly actions. "I thus neglecting worldly ends." --Shak. [1913 Webster] Many years it hath continued, standing by no other worldly mean but that one only hand which erected it. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]
Pertaining to this world or life, in contradistinction from the life to come; secular; temporal; devoted to this life and its enjoyments; bent on gain; as, worldly pleasures, affections, honor, lusts, men. [1913 Webster] With his soul fled all my worldly solace. --Shak. [1913 Webster]
Lay, as opposed to clerical. [Obs.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]
Worldly \World"ly\, adv. With relation to this life; in a worldly manner. [1913 Webster] Subverting worldly strong and worldly wise By simply meek. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Word Net

worldly adj
1 characteristic of or devoted to the temporal world; "worldly goods and advancement" [ant: unworldly]
2 very sophisticated especially because of surfeit; versed in the ways of the world; "the blase traveler refers to the ocean he has crossed as `the pond'"; "the benefits of his worldly wisdom" [syn: blase]
3 concerned with secular rather than sacred matters; "lords temporal and spiritual" [syn: temporal] [also: worldliest, worldlier]



  • IPA /ˈwɜː(r)ldli/
also pronounced wurldlee


  1. Of or relating to man and the planet earth, physical as opposed to spiritual.
  2. Concerned with secular rather than sacred matters.
  3. Very sophisticated especially because of surfeit; versed in the ways of the world.


opposed to spiritual
concerned with secular matters
versed in the ways of the world
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