- pertaining to or characterized by the flesh or the body, its passions and appetites; sensual: carnal pleasures.
- not spiritual; merely human; temporal; worldly: a man of secular, rather carnal, leanings.
- relating to the appetites and passions of the body; sensual; fleshly
early 15c., “sensuality,” from Late Latin carnalitas, from Latin carnalis (see carnal). Meaning “state of being flesh, fleshliness” is from mid-15c.
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.