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

  • adj. Not of this world; spiritual.
  • adj. Concerned with matters of the spirit or soul.
  • adj. Not wise to the ways of the world; naive: "This now is the story of an unworldly young scientist” ( John Simon).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or relating to the spiritual as opposed to the material.
  • adj. Unconcerned with secular matters.
  • adj. Lacking sophistication.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not worldly; spiritual; holy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not worldly; not influenced by worldly or sordid motives; spiritual.

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

  • adj. not concerned with the temporal world or swayed by mundane considerations
  • adj. not wise in the ways of the world


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I suppose you don't conduct business on what you call unworldly principles.


  • I suppose you don't principles. business on what you call unworldly principles.

    Middlemarch: a study of provincial life (1900)

  • Careful about vocabulary. 'unworldly' means 'innocent' or 'naive', not 'unearthly' or 'otherworldly', which is what I think you intended to convey.

    HH Com 576

  • Mr. Bloomfield bore himself with a kind of unworldly grace, and Mr.. Bloomfield with a kind of sweet primness.

    Adela Cathcart, Volume 1

  • A separation of investment banking arms from retail operations may be the only way out of the current 'unworldly' situation where taxpayers have to pick up the tab when institutions get into trouble, said King.

    Daily Financial News

  • In fact, so important is this way of thinking to our lives, so powerful is it, and so strange - just think about it for a moment, it really is a most "unworldly" and unnatural, somewhat stilted way of thinking - that it surely must be taught to every living person.

    MAA Column - Devlin's Angle by Keith Devlin

  • "unworldly" and though the forms thereof in the two only partially coincide.

    A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 To the Close of the 19th Century

  • She looked up at him with those unworldly eyes, and a chill swept him.

    Crimson Wind

  • It is argued by the proponents of the "big society" that an invasion of unworldly, civic-minded volunteers will, on the contrary, revive services made remote and sullen by the state.

    Do we really want to be policed by hobby bobbies?

  • Matt is still kind of young and dumb and unworldly enough that when he wants to do nice things for fashionably oppressed foreigners, his first instinct is to want to let lots of them live in the US of A.

    Matthew Yglesias » Temporary Protected Status for Haitian Immigrants


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