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See also: other-worldly



From otherworld +‎ -ly.


  • (US) enPR: ŭth'ər-wûrldʹli, IPA(key): /ˌʌðɚˈwɝld.li/


otherworldly (comparative more otherworldly, superlative most otherworldly)

  1. Of, concerned with, or preoccupied with a different world than that of the tangible here and now, such as a heavenly, spiritual, or imaginary world.
    Synonyms: ethereal, mystical, transcendental
    • 1917, H. G. Wells, chapter 5, in God, the Invisible King:
      Every religion that becomes ascendant, in so far as it is not otherworldly, must necessarily set its stamp upon the methods and administration of the law.
    • 2007 August 26, Clive Davis, “Simphiwe Dana: The One Love Movement on Bantu Biko Street”, in Times of London[1]:
      Dana has the otherworldly temperament of a mystic.
  2. Not belonging to the real world; unnatural; odd and unfamiliar.
    Synonym: alien
    • 1919 October, John Galsworthy, chapter VII, in Saint’s Progress, London: William Heinemann, published December 1919, →OCLC, part III, 1 §, page 285:
      He had not seen cricket played since the war began; it seemed almost other-worldly, with the click of the bats, and the shrill young voices, under the distant drone of that sky-hornet threshing along to Hendon.
    • 2015 April 15, Jonathan Martin, “For a Clinton, It’s Not Hard to Be Humble in an Effort to Regain Power”, in The New York Times[2]:
      An almost otherworldly resilience has characterized the 40-year arc of the Clintons’ political lives, a well-documented pattern of dazzling success, shattering setback and inevitable recovery.
    • 2021 September 1, Michael Levenson, Anne Barnard, “Scenes from New York City as Ida paralyzes region”, in The New York Times[3], →ISSN:
      The sudden inundation from the remnants of Ida transformed familiar scenes of life in New York into otherworldly and waterlogged chaos on Wednesday night.
    • 2024 April 2, Sarfraz Manzoor, quoting Suzi Ronson, “‘Bowie said he’d sell his soul to be famous’: Suzi Ronson on sex, ruthless ambition – and dyeing David’s hair red”, in The Guardian[4], →ISSN:
      “David used to say he would sell his soul to be famous,” she says. “But he was also otherworldly – and you couldn’t take your eyes off him.”

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