Definition of worldly-wise in English:



  • Prepared by experience for life's difficulties; not easily shocked or deceived.

    ‘Lisa was sufficiently worldly-wise to understand the situation’
    • ‘His left foot can still carve routes through opposition defences and, if some of his speed has gone, then he is also more worldly-wise than he once was.’
    • ‘He found elementary students were both worldly-wise and keen observers of the adults around them.’
    • ‘We need to be more worldly-wise and for referees to be more strict.’
    • ‘It is perhaps the vast amount of travelling they have done to different parts of the world that has made this couple worldly-wise.’
    • ‘Ironically, the most fully-rounded woman in this picture is young Natalie Portman, playing a worldly-wise 13-year-old, who has a crush on Willie.’
    • ‘These guards were surely worldly-wise and shrewd, but they were clearly not educated to the same degree as the scribes and Pharisees.’
    • ‘For years we whined about being the supporting characters on television shows: the wacky neighbor, the snippy coworker, the world-weary yet worldly-wise florist, the dog walker, the minty banker.’
    • ‘Their recovery periods are a lot quicker and they are a lot more mature and worldly-wise.’
    • ‘Wouldn't you expect these people to be articulate, clean-cut, and worldly-wise?’
    • ‘Where East meets West, the old is new, the young are worldly-wise, the wilds are pristine, and the 20 th-century shadows of war are giving way to a hip and happening 21 st-century place to find peace.’
    • ‘As ever, human happiness requires the skills of both the worldly-wise economist and the passionate scientist.’
    • ‘Oxford, after all, is home not only to what is a generally worldly-wise collection of minds but also to numerous eco-friendly student bodies, Green councillors, leading academics and the Environmental Change Institute.’
    • ‘Those who came to scoff remained to praise as allegedly worldly-wise hacks marvelled at the Queen's serenity and, according to one, her ‘dazzling smile’ and ‘engaging small talk’.’
    • ‘At first she's quite immature and naïve but she thinks she's really worldly-wise.’
    • ‘This isn't to say that they would just accept that the world is a nasty place and therefore be less optimistic; they could just be as happy as we were, but with a more worldly-wise attitude.’
    • ‘Educators must be careful not to distort or prejudice the reality that is presented to students such that they are making the students narrow-minded and naive as opposed to broad-minded and worldly-wise.’
    • ‘Dwight, the worldly-wise American submarine commander, puts her right.’
    • ‘And a more balanced, mature, worldly-wise young man you would be hard pushed to find.’
    • ‘But because he wrote in a plain style and assumed this worldly-wise tone, he's quite out of fashion.’
    • ‘It also appeals to defeatists, cynics, and worldly-wise men who are not prepared to try to change the system.’
    sophisticated, experienced, worldly, knowledgeable, knowing, aware, enlightened, shrewd, astute, perceptive, mature, seasoned, cosmopolitan, urbane, cultivated, cultured, unprovincial
    having been around
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/ˈˌwərldlē ˈwīz/