Definition of sublunary in English:


Pronunciation /səbˈlo͞onərē/ /səbˈlunəri/


  • Belonging to this world as contrasted with a better or more spiritual one.

    ‘the concept was irrational to sublunary minds’
    • ‘‘In numerology,’ Shapiro writes, seven ‘is the number of eternity and mutability, of the temporal, sublunary world and the world of the eternal Sabbath.’’
    • ‘Following Aristotle and the Platonists, Abraham divided the universe into three parts: the spiritual, celestial, and sublunary worlds.’
    • ‘Dante transports an earthly historicity into his heaven and hell, in an idiom which is both sublime and sublunary.’
    • ‘All corporal bodies were deemed to be the product of two principles - primary matter and an added ‘something’ called form - but an absolute distinction was made between the unchanging heavens and the corruptible sublunary universe.’
    • ‘Aristotle believed that most reasoning, including reasoning about what to do and about sublunary natural phenomena, dealt with things that hold ‘always or for the most part.’’
    • ‘He inhabits a world where historical activity is surrounded by supernatural forces, where the numinous constantly interpenetrates the dull sublunary world of common sense.’
    • ‘The laicization and secularizing of death stemming from the Scientific Revolution led to sublimation of the belief in a divine afterlife into the prospect of a sublunary life extension.’
    • ‘In the sublunary world, elemental powers are simple and deterministic.’
    earthly, terrestrial, temporal, mundane, mortal, human, non-spiritual, unspiritual, material, materialistic, physical, tangible, carnal, fleshly, bodily, corporeal, gross, sensual, base, sordid, vile, profane


Late 16th century (in the sense ‘terrestrial’): from modern Latin sublunaris.