Definition of fleshly in US English:



  • 1Relating to human desire or bodily appetites; sensual.

    ‘fleshly pleasures’
    • ‘Chris is one of the story's truly good-natured personalities even though he submits to the fleshly desires of the wayward physician Diane.’
    • ‘He often scrutinizes the fleshly nature of animals, mining for metaphors.’
    • ‘Shortly before I met you I was this cold-blooded animal engulfed in murder and fleshly desires.’
    • ‘Only when he had drained the cup of every fleshly pleasure could he accept those deeper thirsts which drove him on.’
    • ‘Being robed in white bespeaks one who is redeemed and no longer subject to her fleshly appetites.’
    • ‘Likewise, greed, a giving in to fleshly temptation, is a descent from human to animal.’
    • ‘He said: ‘There is a moral code to protect us from ourselves, in our own fleshly desires, which I know can be very, very strong.’’
    • ‘Indeed, the real disciple would abandon all fleshly desires and follow Christ as a priest or a religious.’
    • ‘And think upon the soul, lifting herself up from the body and rejecting indulgence and fleshly delights and pleasures and laying aside as well her concern for worldly vanities.’
    • ‘It's easy to see why Lucy and Mina would be tempted by the fleshly liberation he represents, especially in contrast to the stodgy, possessive dorks who would enslave them with marriage.’
    • ‘One would only hope that such seasoned cinema vets would produce material that might whet one's libido, or at least take a novel approach to fleshly longing.’
    • ‘He was horrified by living, fleshly, female sexuality.’
    • ‘There are no disembodied brains, divorced from human emotions, hormonal urges and fleshly thoughts, engaged solely in disinterested play of the mind on the eternal verities.’
    • ‘But His desire to complete His purpose subjugated the fleshly desires before Him.’
    • ‘Their preachers were both papists and Puritans, Jacobites and republicans; they ravished wives or influenced them to give up all fleshly pleasures; they coveted other men's goods or denied them the use of worldly possessions.’
    • ‘Christianity had a deep animus against bodily or fleshly pleasures, seeing these as corrupt and sinful consequences of our fallen state.’
    • ‘Out of all the gods, only the Jester had children because he was the only one concerned with the more… fleshly pleasures.’
    • ‘Introduce it to an enemy position and they'd find themselves overcome with fleshly desires.’
    • ‘Materiality is pure terror for which the only consolation is materiality itself, in its more benign aspects of color and contour and fleshly pleasure.’
    • ‘Her deception of Tian Tian is understandable enough from the fleshly point of view: The spirit was willing, but, oh, the flesh is not.’
    carnal, sexual, sensual, erotic, lustful, lascivious, libidinous, lecherous, licentious, lewd, prurient, salacious, coarse, physical, animal, bestial, gross, lubricious, venereal
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  • 2Having an actual physical presence.

    ‘we will shed the lofty metaphysical Cage and incorporate the earlier dynamic and fleshly Cage’
    • ‘That's how I know it's from God, because it so truly models the Incarnation: the power and true nature of God taking material form in a human, fleshly body.’
    • ‘In Moon in a Tree, ‘being’ is both phantom and fleshly, fantasized and actual.’
    • ‘On the contrary, she should steep herself in the rich history of these shadowy ciphers, for they can carry heavy loads, as freighted with meaning as any more fleshly incarnations.’
    • ‘In that tradition, it may be recalled, the crucifixion of Christ is construed as Christianity's repudiation of the earthly and fleshly, to which Dionysian intoxication is the alternative.’
    • ‘David's emergence into fleshly existence is not done through miraculous wish fulfillment, but from a profound, human confessional; and the realization of mortality encroaches.’
    • ‘It is not ideology, it is incarnation and when it infects our lives we too become incarnated, real, fleshly, vulnerable, and strangely free.’
    • ‘In addition, marriage clearly promotes the bearing of children, which implies bringing new spiritual beings under the domination of fleshly bodies and so helping the cause of evil.’
    • ‘There is more to bodies, however, than fleshly materiality.’
    • ‘The problem is not with the physical, fleshly nature of our being.’
    • ‘Although the androids possess fleshly bodies that are animated with passions and affections that their human counterparts do not appear to have, there is a constant reaffirmation through language that they are not alive.’
    • ‘I can understand where you're coming from, but I've always been uncomfortable with pitching the human and fleshly against the spiritual and transcendent, as if they are two entirely different worlds.’
    • ‘Unlike the austerely disembodied Hungarian, however, Auerbach is a radical populist who celebrates the fleshly and mundane.’
    • ‘One of the ways of freeing the spirit from the trammels of its earthly role is to replace the fleshly mask with another, the mask of art, which more faithfully portrays the soul beneath.’
    • ‘We especially fear being constrained by our bodies, because every fleshly constraint is a premonition of death, the final limit our physicality places on our ambitions.’
    • ‘I could argue that if you had a sufficient outlet for expressing your true selves in your fleshly, corporeal lives, then your blogs would be redundant.’
    • ‘George's latest work, funded during a fit of good sense by the Rockefeller Foundation, carries his obsession with earthly, fleshly things into the literal stratosphere.’
    • ‘These subjects come together for us when we discuss the representation of embodiment that insists both on the fleshly materiality of the body, and the ubiquity of unconscious fantasy that underpins being-in-the-body.’
    • ‘He clarifies what he means by asserting that in the New Testament the word ‘flesh’ refers simply to our physical fleshly body, and not our sinful nature.’
    physical, bodily, corporeal, corporal, mortal
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Old English flǣsclic (see flesh, -ly).