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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Relating to the physical and especially sexual appetites: carnal desire.
  • adj. Worldly or earthly; temporal: the carnal world.
  • adj. Of or relating to the body or flesh; bodily: carnal remains.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. relating to the physical and especially sexual appetites
  • adj. worldly or earthly; temporal
  • adj. of or relating to the body or flesh

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the body or its appetites; animal; fleshly; sensual; given to sensual indulgence; lustful; human or worldly as opposed to spiritual.
  • adj. Flesh-devouring; cruel; ravenous; bloody.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to the flesh; hence, flesh-eating; ravenous; bloody.
  • Of the same blood or descent; natural; kindred; german.
  • Pertaining to the flesh or the body, its passions and its appetites; fleshly; sensual; lustful; gross; impure.
  • Not spiritual; merely human; not partaking of anything divine or holy; unregenerate; unsanctified.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. marked by the appetites and passions of the body
  • adj. of or relating to the body or flesh


Middle English, from Old North French carnel, from Latin carnālis, from Latin carō, carn-, flesh; see sker-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Latin carnālis ("fleshly, of the flesh (Medieval Latin natural, of the same blood or descent)"), from caro ("flesh"). (Wiktionary)



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