1. pertaining to or characterized by the flesh or the body, its passions and appetites; sensual: carnal pleasures.
2. not spiritual; merely human; temporal; worldly: a man of secular, rather carnal, leanings.
car·nal·i·ty , car·nal·ness , car·nal·ism , noun
car·nal·ly , adverb
hy·per·car·nal , adjective
hy·per·car·nal·ly , adverb
Related Words for carnal
sensuous, wanton, lewd, earthly, animal, bodily, corporal, corporeal, fleshly, impure, lascivious, lecherous, libidinous, licentious, lustful, physical, prurient, salacious, temporal, voluptuous
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. bodily, lustful, lecherous, lascivious, libidinous, concupiscent.
Carnal, sensual, fleshly, animal all refer to bodily rather than rational or spiritual aspects of humans. Carnal although it may refer to the body as opposed to the spirit, often refers to sexual needs or urges: carnal cravings, attractions, satisfactions. Sensual implies a suggestion of eroticism: sensual eyes; a sensual dance; it may also refer to experience of the senses: a sensual delight. Fleshly may refer to any physical need or appetite, sex as well as hunger and thirst: the fleshly sin of gluttony; fleshly yearnings. Animal refers to sexual appetites in a censorious way only; it may also describe pleasing or admirable physical characteristics or appearance: animal lust; to move with animal grace.
2. earthly, natural.
Origin: 1350–1400; Middle English < Latin carnalis, equivalent to carn- (stem of caro ) flesh + -alis -al
Word Origin and History for carnal
c.1400, "physical, human, mortal," from Old French carnal and directly from Medieval Latin carnalis "natural, of the same blood," from Latin carnis "of the flesh," genitive of caro "flesh, meat" (see carnage). Meaning "sensual" is from early 15c.; that of "worldly, sinful" is from mid-15c. Carnal knowledge is attested from early 15c. and was in legal use by 1680s.