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[uhn-wurld-lee] /ʌnˈwɜrld li/
not worldly; not seeking material advantage; spiritually minded.
naive; unsophisticated; provincial.
not terrestrial; unearthly.
Origin of unworldly
1700-10; un-1 + worldly
Related forms
unworldliness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unworldly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was the close of a useful, unworldly, unambitious life, full of innocent enjoyment and deep affection.

    Robert Browning Edward Dowden
  • It looked unreal, a painting of unworldly quiet and desolation.

    The Hills of Home Alfred Coppel
  • Foster was an extremely modest, unworldly, retiring gentleman.

    The Unpublishable Memoirs A. S. W. Rosenbach
  • Those people had been right who had called Sir Denis unworldly.

    Mary Gray Katharine Tynan
  • And would my suit now be as welcomed as it had been by a mother even so unworldly as Mrs. Ashleigh?

    A Strange Story, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • He evidently thought of me as of one unworldly and unpractical.

    How It All Came Round L. T. Meade
  • He was not talking of any unworldly visionary like Vaughan or George Herbert.

    Orthodoxy G. K. Chesterton
  • She was wholly absorbed in her study of this unworldly and untaught nature.

    Esmeralda Frances Hodgson Burnett
British Dictionary definitions for unworldly


not concerned with material values or pursuits
lacking sophistication; naive
not of this earth or world
Derived Forms
unworldliness, 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
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Word Origin and History for unworldly

1707, from un- (1) "not" + worldly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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