9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[wurld-lee] /ˈwɜrld li/
adjective, worldlier, worldliest.
of or relating to this world as contrasted with heaven, spiritual life, etc.; earthly; mundane.
experienced; knowing; sophisticated:
the benefits of his worldly wisdom.
devoted to, directed toward, or connected with the affairs, interests, or pleasures of this world.
of or relating to the people or laity; secular; neither ecclesiastical nor religious.
Obsolete. of, relating to, or existing on earth.
in a worldly manner (archaic except in combination):
worldly-wise; worldly-minded.
Origin of worldly
before 900; Middle English; Old English wor(u)ldlīc. See world, -ly
Related forms
worldliness, noun
preworldliness, noun
preworldly, adjective
superworldliness, noun
superworldly, adjective
1. temporal. See earthly. 2. urbane, cosmopolitan.
1. spiritual. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for worldly
  • He also maintained the view that an excess of material goods and worldly influence corrupted humans.
  • Fundamentalism is less dangerous when your religion has little worldly power.
  • Sometimes worldly rulers draw on religious symbolism to enforce their authority, impress their subjects or legitimise war.
  • Usually such quarrels involve worldly goods and rival claims to be the true believers.
  • But he was a worldly paradise seeker of unusual persistence.
  • Students are benefiting from the more worldly and pragmatic courses, but the budget cuts mean a degradation of course quality.
  • Economist, stop pretending to be a worldly magazine if you cannot display an ounce of worldliness describing events at home.
  • Having the dollar not being the world reserve might nudge us to be slightly more responsible, worldly citizens.
  • Anyone who has left the rice in cooking pot until the next day knows it turns to an other-worldly concrete over night.
  • One realises when reading the comments made, that our worldly consciousness is changing rapidly.
British Dictionary definitions for worldly


adjective -lier, -liest
not spiritual; mundane or temporal
Also worldly-minded. absorbed in or concerned with material things or matters that are immediately relevant
Also worldly-wise. versed in the ways of the world; sophisticated
(archaic) existing on or relating to the earth
(obsolete) secular; lay
(archaic) in a worldly manner
Derived Forms
worldliness, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for worldly

Old English woruldlic, from the roots of world and like (adj.). A common Germanic compound (cf. Old Frisian wraldlik, Old Saxon weroldlik, Middle Dutch wereldlik, German weltlich, Old Norse veraldligr). Worldly-wise is recorded from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for worldly

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for worldly

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with worldly