Definition of worldly in English:

worldly

adjective

  • 1(of a person) experienced and sophisticated.

    ‘she was much more worldly than Nora and dismissed the slur’
    • ‘Her experiences in Mozambique had made her much more worldly than the girls she would encounter at school in America.’
    • ‘As he grew older, his comedy expanded and became at the same time more personal and more worldly.’
    • ‘She uses particular features to portray herself as a sophisticated, worldly woman.’
    • ‘Selfless work done with full heart and perfection is the best way for the worldly person to realize his inner Self.’
    • ‘However she was hardly a naive character falling for the guile of worldly men.’
    • ‘He seems to represent the sort of man she has dreamed about - worldly, charming and cultured.’
    • ‘My parents didn't have any money but they were worldly and very practical.’
    • ‘For his age, Pyp was a clever child and the past weeks had matured him into a little worldly man.’
    • ‘He was an intelligent, worldly man whose passion for social equality and justice impressed her greatly.’
    • ‘In important although quite different ways, these women are more worldly and stronger than he.’
    • ‘He's a very interesting, very worldly man and he is interested in me.’
    • ‘These kinds of horror stories might scare kids, but they're unlikely to scare worldly adults.’
    • ‘She knew that if she poised her laughs right, she sounded sophisticated and worldly.’
    • ‘Younger people will ask you important and earnest questions only an experienced and worldly man of age can answer.’
    • ‘Looking to the side, he is more worldly than she, more concerned with what others are doing and thinking.’
    • ‘The cops have copies of emails from a naïve analyst to his more worldly colleagues.’
    • ‘They are worldly, intelligent, well-read and hopeful about having a decent future.’
    • ‘They celebrated China as a great nation and presented themselves as worldly cosmopolitans.’
    • ‘Blinkered voters get the parochial leaders they want rather than the worldly leaders they presumably need.’
    • ‘Australians love America, but any worldly person knows you do not threaten Aussies.’
    sophisticated, experienced, worldly-wise, knowledgeable, knowing, aware, enlightened, shrewd, astute, perceptive, media-savvy, mature, seasoned, cosmopolitan, urbane, cultivated, cultured, unprovincial
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  • 2Of or concerned with material values or ordinary life rather than a spiritual existence.

    ‘his ambitions for worldly success’
    • ‘He had discovered a middle way, free from attachment to either worldly or spiritual identity.’
    • ‘In a culture that measures everything in terms of size, success, and influence, we have to say no to these worldly values as well.’
    • ‘From his seat in exile at Rumtek, he had built a spiritual and worldly empire with millions of followers and extensive assets.’
    • ‘The pride of worldly success will not bring any lasting peace and can quite easily destroy a person's soul.’
    • ‘Another delegation tries to get in, this one with more worldly clout and more success.’
    • ‘Which is more important, the worldly existence or the heavenly one?’
    • ‘How, it asks, is poetic talent related to worldly success, and ought one to live if the talent burns out?’
    • ‘To some the praise of politicians may seem but the glorification of worldly success.’
    • ‘Her response is to renegotiate the boundaries between spiritual faith and worldly economies.’
    • ‘Not all the Reformers were willing to make the clear separation between the worldly and the spiritual kingdoms that Luther made.’
    • ‘The appeal was to civic conscience rather than worldly vanity: someone had to perform this important task.’
    • ‘Religion advocates that we must renounce all worldly material things and become ascetics.’
    • ‘All the above men wanted a more spiritual and less worldly religion.’
    • ‘During the walk in the dark you are meant to let go of worldly concerns.’
    • ‘Franklin's recognition of ceramics and silver as potent symbols of worldly success rang true.’
    • ‘Honour, duty and order had always driven him, and earned him worldly success despite that relative lack of ambition.’
    • ‘She was concerned in a variety of other ways to look after his welfare, both spiritual and worldly.’
    • ‘Bathed in the red morning light he looked like a young angel - albeit a rather worldly one.’
    • ‘At this age I've had a lot of career and I'm less concerned about my worldly success.’
    • ‘But another part of me says that you can't split the spiritual and the worldly quite so easily.’
    earthly, terrestrial, temporal, mundane, mortal, human, non-spiritual, unspiritual, material, materialistic, physical, tangible, carnal, fleshly, bodily, corporeal, gross, sensual, base, sordid, vile, profane
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Phrases

  • worldly goods (or possessions or wealth)

    • Everything that one owns.

      ‘a parcel that contained all his worldly goods’
      • ‘Understanding that his spiritual development was more valuable than worldly wealth, he accepted, instead, 657 religious manuscripts.’
      • ‘I know that I will forfeit my freedom, my reputation, my worldly possessions, and most importantly, the trust of my friends and family.’
      • ‘With that the human soul itself is undermined, both in its worldly wealth and its spiritual life.’
      • ‘With their donkeys carrying all their worldly possessions, they arrived following an exhausting trek four days ago.’
      • ‘How can it be possible that Australians support a position where 460 desperate human beings without homes or worldly possessions are turned away from our shore when we have so very much ourselves?’
      • ‘Marcus just e-mailed me to say that the container holding all our worldly possessions is scheduled to set sail for Trinidad on February 9th.’
      • ‘Also, some of Carmena's worldly possessions were quite valuable.’
      • ‘He walks in as he does almost every day: sporting his iconic tortoise shell glasses, trademark cane and toting a backpack filled with all his worldly possessions.’
      • ‘A year ago today, my then-fiancée (now wife) and I stepped off the British Airways flight from London, all our worldly possessions packed into suitcases in the hold or stacked in a container in the bowels of a ship.’
      • ‘It was here that the worldly possessions of a million innocents were sifted of valuables and stored.’
      belongings, possessions, stuff, property, worldly goods, goods, personal effects, effects, paraphernalia, impedimenta, bits and pieces, bits and bobs
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Origin

Old English woruldlic (see world, -ly).

Pronunciation

worldly

/ˈwəːldli/